iPhone Journalism

iPhone Journalism

Using only a tiny iPhone, you can make a big impact. Today’s iPhone lets you film, edit, and post your videos to reach thousands of people in a relatively short amount of time. In this guide, we cover the benefits and shortcomings of iPhone journalism, as well as the ins and outs of using this powerful medium effectively.



Benefits of iPhone Journalism

  • Inexpensive
      • To do professional video production work you are looking to spend AT LEAST $5000 to get started. That $5000 includes a good camera, lenses, chips, cards, batteries, microphones, lights, tripod, bag, computer, software… it all adds up.
      • For under $1000 you can get an iPhone 6 and a microphone, and technically have everything you need to film, edit, and post a video.
  • Portable
      • It fits in your pocket, you don’t need to bring heavy equipment
  • Quick
      • In the past, after you spend a few hours filming an event, you have to spend days copying footage, editing, rendering, reviewing, then posting it days, sometimes weeks, later. This is assuming you are not already exhausted from covering the event. The event you worked so hard capturing is now OLD NEWS. Unfortunately nobody watches old news. The only real workaround to using professional gear and getting it out quickly is with more manpower, and that will eat into the event budget. Small, low budget events become too expensive to cover.
      • With iPhone Journalism you can get your shots and edit on site. The result is having a finished, edited report posted right when the event is finished. People like fresh news, more people will consume it, and more people will take action.
  • Real
    • When we cover events, oftentimes too much media emphasis is put on the stage. While stage coverage is an important part of proper media coverage, it is not the primary focus for iPhone Journalism. Pieces centered on the stage result in stiff, uncomfortable, and staged videos; nobody is comfortable on a stage. The point of iPhone Journalism is to make people feel comfortable and REAL. What happens on the stage is now B-roll, and the interviews you capture afterward is your meat and potatoes.
    • There is something about capturing with an iPhone that is more forgivable. Your audience will forgive you if things aren’t perfect,  little camera shake here or there, it all feels behind the scenes and like reality TV – which people are used to these days. Remember, your audience is just happy to be seeing things unfold as they happen. They are happy to see familiar faces talking like humans, making mistakes, joking about their mistakes… etc.

Shortcomings of iPhone Journalism

  • Quality is not super Pro
  • Not good for long-form pieces

Equipment Needed

Extra Equipment (Not necessary but good to have)


  • Opener

      • Hi we are here at “_______” for the “_________.” Describe the scene.
      • “Let’s check it out!” or “Looks like it’s about to start, let’s take our seats!”


  • B-roll

      • Just take shots of anything that will help people get a feel for where they are. Basically, take shots of everything the host described in the opener. 
          • “We are here at Belvedere” – that means get some shots of the Belvedere grounds
          • “People are excited to be here” – get some excited high fives, hugs, waves to the camera. Waving to camera is simple: just film a crowd and start waving to them, they will wave back.
          • Here is what the above shot looks like with B-roll
      • You know how you are scrolling through Facebook and videos start playing? The B-roll is what will make people want to hit the Play button. So make the B-roll fun exciting dynamic!
  • Interviews

    • Set up
      • Plug in your iRig Mic to your iPhone. Put it in the middle setting. Plug in your headphones (blue tooth or wired)
      • Open Movie Pro App
      • Do a quick test recording speaking into the mic. You should hear the audio through your headphones and you should see the audio meter moving. (If you see no audio meter, turn it on in the settings.)
      • Play back test recording and make sure it sounds good in your headphones.
            • GOOD TEST

          • BAD (DID NOT TEST)

              • Buzz
          • No Audio
    • Without a host
      • Approach a person, ask them if they can do a quick interview
      • Some basic questions:
        • Can you introduce yourself for anyone who doesn’t know who you are? Name what you do?
        • How are you feeling?
        • For someone who doesn’t know what is happening here, can you describe it?
        • What was your favorite part about today?
        • Was there something the presenter said that stood out to you?
        • Anything else you want to say?
    • With a host
      • It is easier to do interviews with a host.
      • Have the host stand next to the person in the interview. Get some basic info before. Have the host say “Hi we are here with, _________, he/she is the _____…”
    • Foreigners
      • If English is not their first language, have them answer in their native tongue. Find a translator to help mediate the questions. AFTER  the question is COMPLETELY answered, ask the translator to speak into the mic and tell us what they said. We will use the translation as subtitles later on.
  • Closing

      • Quick recap, call to action, thank you’s. “This is [Host Name] signing off from [Location]. Thanks for watching, God Bless!”
      • Banner Group Shots usually work well for closers for videos.


  • iMovie
  • Voice and angle: Positive Reality



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