Tag Archives: police

Questions over how police treat photographers under the Terrorism Act

28 Feb

On the first post on this blog we looked at the issue of police confiscation of mobile video footage. Complaints of this practise have continued to rumble, although recent

One of the pictures that the student was taking, prompting officers to search him.

operations at the student protests have shown a willingness by police to allow people the right to video. This though could be down to the huge media presence keeping an eye on them and the sheer number of people with their mobile devices out, waiting to catch a police officer acting inapropriately.

An equally contentious issue for mobile journalists is the continuing behaviour of certain police forces to use legislation to confiscate equipment from photographs. What is shocking though is that anti-terrorism legislation is used to justify this. Continue reading

No quiet riot as mobiles help showcase protest to the world

12 Nov

Yesterday’s student demonstration in London made clear precisely how pivotal mobile technology now is for modern journalism.

In days gone by we would have heard real-time information about the protest and the ensuing rioting via the radio. Whatever the presenter told us was exactly what we would have believed. For a visual handle you’d have to wait until the evening news, whereby you’d see some footage and hear a reporter explaining the event based either on what they had witnessed, or the sources they chose to speak to. Essentially the coverage of an event involving hoards of people over a vast space would have been conveyed via very limited pairs of eyes and ears.

Images were uploaded onto Flickr by mobile journalists such as Sarah Noorbakhsh

Nowadays this form of reporting has taken a kick to the teeth. We, as the absorbing public, demand speed, efficiency, accuracy and engagement as prerequisites. Yesterday we were able to watch a new breed of reporting in perfect motion, as eyewitnesses posted minute-by-minute information on Twitter, and photographers uploaded via Flickr. Sky News’ Kay Burley, who made several slapdash reporting bloopers, could have learned a thing or two from the would-be journalists on the streets. Continue reading

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