February 23, 2016
April 15, 2016
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Journalists need to react¬†quickly when¬†news stories¬†break.
There’s a bang or a crash, a breaking news story is happening right before your eyes.
At times like this a journalist has to react quickly and let the world know about the¬†news story as it happens.
Periscope is a brilliant tool to help reporters¬†stream video live to Twitter and websites via a smart phone, giving¬†readers and viewers a taste of what is happening.
It is not a polished video product but frequently has the wow factor.
The day after her first mobile journalism class, fast-track NCTJ student¬†Jessica Wells filmed fans reaction to Japan beating South Africa in the Rugby World Cup fan zone on Brighton seafront.
Afterwards we discussed how it was the perfect live stream moment. She has the app now, but faced a short delay before uploading her video to YouTube by filming in the traditional way.
Why use Periscope?
Launched in 2015 and owned by Twitter, Periscope is one of the best tools for reporters to get video footage out to the world as quickly as possible, and find it.
Its footage is high quality, as phones and networks grow more powerful. Old school live streaming software was always pixilated.
Viewers can see live footage with just a few seconds delay.
A¬†key example of how it could be used would be¬†the Shoreham Air Show disaster in August 2015, as¬†journalists were at the event.
The footage¬†above, filmed by a¬†vintage aircraft¬†enthusiast, shows the incident as it happened.
Ethical considerations are important when covering serious incidents which may involve violence and death.
Qualified journalist are equipped with the built-in knowledge to avoid identifying the dead before families are informed.
A reporter at the airport is some distance away so won’t see bodies or vehicles involved.
In this case it was not possible to make out who was caught in the flames or the vehicles at the traffic lights.
A journalist at a¬†scene such as this could film the breaking news shortly after the incident, so it is out in the world quickly.
Then they would work on footage covering the whole story
Behind the scenes
Periscope¬†is also a great tool to give different perspectives of live events.
During the general election, behind the scenes footage during the leaders’ debates gave a new dimension to the relationships between politicians and journalists.
Sky News reporter Kay Burley¬†was praised for using the platform while waiting for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, after the birth of Princess Charlotte.
Her informal interviews with members of the press pack, including legendary photographer Arthur Edwards, added colour to the extremely dull waiting game.
How it works
Periscope used to send an alert straight to Twitter.¬†As of Tuesday, January 12, the Periscope¬†stream is embedded in Twitter with users tapping on the feed for full screen.
As well as streaming out to social media, it is possible to save the video to the phone memory and incorporate it into a more polished package.
Periscope is not always a tool for everyday use, although some people stream daily. It is great to capture moments.
Streams stay live for 24 hours, so it is possible to track down live footage even if you miss the event itself.
Journalists should have it on their smart phones. Practise now and be ready for when you need it.