Tools for Reporting Across Platforms

Category: iPhone

Pelosi in Your Pocket…

As any journalist covering Congress can tell you, it’s not always easy to keep up with every official on the Hill. That’s where Congress in Your Pocket comes in.

The service by Cohen Research Group is a congressional directory for your iPhone, iPod touch or BlackBerry.

One of my colleagues informed me about it recently, and it is a HUGE help.

For the iPhone and iPod touch, the Basic version costs just $0.99 and includes info on each member of Congress, including party affiliation and biographical details. It also includes the official’s office address, office telephone number and a link to his or her website.

The Basic version also comes complete with campaign info, including the person’s campaign website,  name of his or her top opponent and donor info. (Buy it from Apple’s App Store here.)

The Congress+ and CongressPro versions are more expensive ($4.99 and $29.99 respectively) but offer even more info about each congressman, including staff contact info, committee assignments and sponsored legislation. (See differences between all three versions here.)

The benefit to the Pro version is that its info is updated all year, which means you’ll always be up-to-date.

A yearly subscription on the BlackBerry will cost you $99, substantially more than the iPhone app, but for government workers or those buying in a group, the Congress in Your Pocket website says there are discounts.

Future of Journalism at Your Fingertips…

The Nieman Journalism Lab has released an iPhone app!

The lab is a project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.  The lab’s stated focus is to help journalism figure out its future in the age of the Internet.

If you’re a news junkie looking to keep up with industry changes, the Nieman Journalism Lab is a great resource. And its app, now available in Apple’s App Store at ZERO COST, makes the info even easier to access.

The lab says the app features all its stories and tweets, as well as the most buzzed-about links overall from Twitter and recent reports from other sources of journalism news.

If you don’t have an iPhone, you can still keep up with the Nieman Journalism Lab on its website.

Panoramas on Your iPhone!

If you’re an iPhone user looking for a quick and easy way to create a panorama, Pano is your answer.

The app from Debacle Software allows you to create a 360 degree panoramic image using up to 16 photos. It also has a guide to help you line up your shots.

Pano is available on Apple’s App Store for just $2.99. Apple named Pano one of the best apps of last year.

The panoramas save directly to your iPhone’s camera roll. The program can also be used on the iPad and iPod touch.

CHEAPER iPhone Prompter App!

One of my colleagues alerted me to another teleprompter app for the iPhone that is significantly cheaper than the one I featured in a previous post.

It’s called iPrompter, and it’s currently selling for just $0.99! You can also download iPrompter for the iPad.

Check out the company website and more details on the program here. And click here for the app’s page in the iPhone app store!

No Teleprompter? No problem.

Who needs expensive teleprompter setups when you can create a mini-teleprompter with your iPhone?

The ProPrompter app from Bodelin Technologies works with both the iPhone and iPod Touch. Scripts are inserted using the ProPrompter script management website, which users can access after purchasing the app.

The iPhone as a prompter could prove useful for reporters shooting standups or liveshots in the field, especially those wanting to avoid fumbling with papers.

The ProPrompter app is currently selling for $10. The company also offers gadgets to make your iPhone prompter even better. At $130, the ProPrompter Wing is an attachment for your camera which secures the iPhone alongside the lens, for easy reading.


ProPrompter Wing. Original image at

The ProMag attachment (shown below) is a little more complex. It’s a lens hood/mirror system that allows you to use your iPhone more like a traditional teleprompter, with the words appearing in the lens. It includes a magnifier, so you can see your script bigger and clearer. It’s also about $1,000.

ProMag. Original image at

More iFun: Audio/Video Editing & Slideshows

A number of iPhone apps are now making it possible to edit both audio and video directly on your phone.

VeriCorder offers several of them.

1st Video Net enables you to record, edit and send broadcast and podcast-ready video using your iPhone.  With a Vericorder Corporate Account, Vericorder says you can integrate the program into your newsroom system to be able to automatically send your completed stories via FTP using WiFi or a cellular connection.

ShowCase from Vericorder allows you to create audio slideshows on your iPhone or iPod Touch. ShowCase can also be integrated with newsroom systems for direct sharing.

VC Audio Net for the iPhone and i Touch is designed for recording and editing audio clips and sending radio stories back to your newsroom.

Vericorder also sells mini-external mics for the iPhone that run about $20 a piece.

(For info on getting a corporate account, contact [email protected])

Reporting LIVE…From Your Phone

If you’re out in the field without the luxury of a working satellite box, there’s another way you can go live:

Qik allows you to stream live video footage on the Web from your phone.  The Qik software you download to your phone enables you to send video you record on your phone to the Qik servers.

You can embed your Qik “channel” on virtually any website or connect it to your accounts on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

And it’s not just for the iPhone. Qik is compatible with more than 140 mobile devices, including the Blackberry.

The quality of the streamed video at this point isn’t the greatest, but it’s definitely a start.

Attention all iPhone users!

Now this is cool. Here’s a way for you to use your iPhone to record stable, better sounding video. If you’re like me and you don’t have an iPhone, it’s things like this that could prompt you to make the jump when your current phone contract expires.

I’m talking about the OWLE — the OWLE Bubo to be specific. The OWLE is an external attachment for your iPhone that functions as a camera mount.

Original image here:

You just pop your iPhone into the back and voila, you’ve now got a highly functional, much-easier-to-hold video camera, complete with external mic, adjustable outer lens and monopod/tripod mounts.

And the best part: it’s only $130!

For just a little more, you can also get accessories for your OWLE, like a shotgun mic and a light…

(If you’re interested in buying, click here.)

Taz Goldstein, founder of Handheld Hollywood, did a pretty good review of the OWLE last year that includes some sample footage.