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Mobile journalism tools: broadcast yourself with Audioboo


It’s not enough to write the news anymore, apparently you’ve got to talk it now as well.

But that’s OK, because there are lots of ways to do it fast, for free and to a surprisingly good standard. Mashable has these handy tips for reporters on the go (via Sarah), but I thought I’d add some thoughts on how I capture, upload and publish audio interviews.

This neat guide on AV story-telling from Adam Westbrook shows just what you can do with little resources to really tell a good tale  – e.g. why not bookend reports by setting the scene at the start and summing up the the issues at the end. Add some narrattive and reflection.

But if you haven’t got any fancy kit at all – except perhaps an iPhone -  Audioboo allows the recording of five minute audio clips, which can be quickly uploaded and embedded into news stories much like YouTube videos. Reporters only need ask one or two questions and a two-minute audio interview can really lift a boring -text-and-picture article.

It’s fast, it works, the iPhone mic is easily good enough to broadcast short clips – but with a good quality mic the results are great.

It’s not exactly Pulitzer Prize stuff, but here’s me speaking to BBC journalist Jon Manel and human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith at the Frontline Club last month – this went in the middle of a text report of a event that night and Stafford Smith’s reply in particular was well worth the effort…

And this is Google exec Hugo Barra speaking to me at a conference in London, where I was reporting for PCUK.

I was lucky enough last week to join a private beta that allows recordings of up to 15 minutes and queuing of uploads. This means you can record, say, ten quickfire interviews on the go without any wifi and 3G coverage, which can be uploaded later whenever you’re in coverage.

As if that wasn’t enough, your boos can be subscribed to via RSS or iTunes: you’re very own podcast, for free.

N.B. The Audioboo app is only available for iPhone and Android, so that is a bit limiting – but you can record using your laptop mic or try the “massively under construction” Phoneboo service, which allows the recording of boos by calling a regular number. I haven’t tried it and would be interested to hear from anyone that has.