Tag Archives: cameraphone

Should mobile phone videos of police be illegal?

31 Oct

Mobile phones have changed the way we communicate, but they’ve also changed the way we document.

It’s more difficult to find a phone without a video camera these days. A photo or video is never more than a few buttons away, which has made the world and all its intricacies a much more visible being. Soaring ballads at gigs are no longer welcomed with a sea of lighters, but a mass of battery-lit screens recording material to later share on the web. Eagle-eyed grammar junkies who prey on public notice typos need only wait minutes before spotting a comedic mistake and sharing the idiocy with the world. To many people this practice is seen as a social disease. But to journalists the advent of mobile video and photography has been monumental, because now nearly everybody can be a reporter.

Ian Tomlinson before being pushed by a policeman

Just think of the number of mobile phone videos that now take comfortable residence in the primetime news programmes, or the increasing number of stills taken from mobile phones that end up in our newspapers and magazines. There is often no need for a media organisation to call on their stringer, or to send out a reporter, as the Internet often provides the story for them. But more important  is the fact that mobile recording has meant a change in the type of stories we cover, and offers a fresh perspective to those consuming the story. Continue reading