The 3G bug has bitten BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) as well. The British news organisation is developing an application, to be used on iOS devices, which will allow users (BBC reporters only) to upload audio clips, photos and video to the BBC servers directly.
The app is likely to be in use within a month or two, and it will allow the reporters to broadcast live with the help of 3G signals.
In an interview with Journalism.co.uk, Martin Turner, head of operations for newsgathering at BBC, said the new app was a logical extension of what the BBC could do already.
Reporters have already started using smartphones while reporting, but it has not been of good quality. Smartphones were only used when reporters were working on a really important story, but it is becoming more realistic to use these phones for live reporting with the creation of new app by BBC. The app is only for the internal use of the news organisation and general public will not be allowed to use it.
There are numerous breaking news stories happening across the world which were first captured by amateur users and these might have inspired BBC to come out with this initiative. The BBC head of operations, however, clarified the company would not be restricted to iPhone only, but this was the best option for them at this point of time.
The cost, borne by the BBC, to develop the app was not divulged by Martin Turner, but he said, “Were it expensive, we wouldn’t be able to do it at the moment. It’s a question of getting more value out of something which already exists, which is obviously the watchword for the BBC at the moment.’
In order to keep the costs low, BBC is building the app over Luci’s existing software already available for iPhone. It will remove the need for cumbersome satellite or codex equipment for live news broadcasts.
Several US based news broadcasters have come out with iPhone apps which allow citizen journalists to record and broadcast multimedia content using their iPhones, but this is the first time mainstream journalists would be using iPhone app.