The Internet of Things: Journalism in a Connected World
As we discussed in class, the Internet of Things is becoming a very real phenomenon. With smartphones and just about everything else connected to the Internet, it’s not that surprising that developers across the world are finding ways to make those things connected to each other.
The Internet of Things could have numerous impacts on the world of journalism, the most obvious ways are already starting to be seen. There’s smartpens that can record audio and can take notes on paper that is automatically sent to your Dropbox or Evernote. An even more obvious example is the smartphone, a device that can email, message, make phone calls, record audio, give you directions, take pictures and shoot video while keeping you connected to a bevy of other devices.
So, what will happen when the Internet of Things continues to connect even more “Things?” The possibilities are seemingly endless, especially for journalists. I believe the most obvious and soonest advancements will come in the form of live “on-the-scene” reporting. With apps that we’ve discussed in class like Periscope that allow you to shoot and stream live video from your phone, it’s only natural that this technology will continue to advance, with better resolution images and so on.
Building on the idea of live reporting technology like the smartpens, I forsee a device that is portable and easy-to-use that seamlessly connects you from the field to the newsroom, whether that is saving your audio to the cloud and/or sending it back to the newsroom.
Getting a little more out there and incorporating more “Things,” the interconnectivity of everything could even start writing parts of your story for you.
For example, for newspaper or reporters that utilize writing, maybe there’s an app or add-on to your GPS app that lets you simply push a button to verify you’re at the location of a story. Doing so automatically starts a story document and automatically uses the GPS information to fill in the dateline and even part of the lede. Then you cover whatever event it is, say you interview someone on the scene. Those interviews are automatically transcribed and added to the story document.
As you continue to cover the event, your photographer (in many cases yourself) takes pictures that are automatically uploaded into a gallery on your story document. You could also dictate paragraphs of the story or edit the story document as you go. Then, after the event is done, the story is already mostly written. Your work time would be significantly reduced for stories and, if you were especially busy, someone back at the office or newsroom could clean up the story and get it ready to go as it’s automatically updated from the field.
Having computer chips, cameras and recorders in just about everything we use is becoming more common, and as the technology gets more refined and user-friendly, the possibilities for journalists continue to grow. The way reporters cover events and stories would change completely, with most of the work and information being gathered in the field while editors back at the office or newsroom could construct the stories.