A week ago, the World Press Photo of the year award went to a digitally enhanced photo taken by Paul Hansen. It’s a really compelling photo, one that SpeigelOnline writers Matthias Krug and Stefan Niggemeier write “conveys a beauty that seems almost innappropriate.”
The fact, though, is that every digital photographer enhances their pictures. Even just adjusting the colors to make it pop on screen is changing the story, altering reality. Of course, in a newsroom, any blatant manipulation of a picture — even one of the protagonisst of Krug and Niggenmeier’s article, Claudio Palmisano of 10b Photography in Rome, notes that they never ‘alter pixels’ — is a violation of journalistic ethics akin to making up quotes or sources.
But in a digital landscape, where catchy headlines and niche journalism seem to be key components of profitability, it’s hard to distinguish between what’s bias and what’s best practice.
Is adding a dramatic light just an attention grabber or an opinion? I’m not so sure. The nature of storytelling through words or images is such that just by picking a subject, it becomes interesting or ‘newsworthy.’ The only underlined sentence in my undergrad copy of Susan Sontag’s On Photography is this: Read more
Qik was given a positive review on this blog back in May, and the Android version of this app is an excellent way to broadcast live from breaking news, very fast. New features are added frequently and the quality of the video continues to improve. But a word of warning: Be sure to keep an eye on your battery life! Qik drains batteries very fast.
WordPress for Android is a solid app that’s perfect for a breaking news situation. It’s fast, and has robust posting and comment moderation features. Users can even upload photos and videos to accompany their posts. WordPress for Android works for both WordPress.com and WordPress.org (self-hosted) blogs. Users of WordPress.com stats can also view their traffic numbers remotely through the app. Remember: Blogging on a phone is harder than it sounds, so be sure to check your work before hitting the post button!
As the quality of the cameras on Android phones continues to improve (the new DROID X has an 8 megapixel camera), it’s essential to have access to photo editing software on the go. Photoshop Express for Android lets you crop, tone and add a few fun filters and borders to your pictures. While it’s no substitute for Photoshop CS5, Photoshop Express is a great tool to use before sharing your mobile picture on your blog or Twitter.
Forget your voice recorder at home? No worries, because VoiceTask is a free and easy-to-use voice recording app. VoiceTask users can enter their e-mail address in the app’s settings page and receive an e-mailed MP3 recording. Remember, the recordings will sound like a phone conversation, since you’re using the microphone from a phone. But for casual, transcription purposes, VoiceTask definitely will work well.
Every journalist needs to take notes, and Evernote is the perfect application if you ever get sick of your reporter’s notebook. Not only can you use Evernote to take text notes, but you can also upload pictures and audio. The best part is that Evernote stores your data in the cloud, meaning the notes from your Android phone are readily available on the Evernote desktop app (Windows and Mac) or website. An added bonus: Evernote lets you tag each of your notes, helping you stay organized.
Know of any good Android apps for journalists not mentioned here? Share your favorites in the comments!