Mobile phones 'to revolutionise news coverage'

   
   
Mobile phone cameras
01 Feb 2011 15:57:00.000

PA37/11

Mobile phones are set to dramatically shake up the global news industry, as cellphones increasingly become a basic consumer essential and users upgrade their handsets with greater frequency.

Citizen journalists are expected to increasingly use their mobile phones to compete with the world’s biggest broadcasters, first for footage at news scenes and then in the race to get coverage transmitted to a wide audience, according to a media expert at The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China.

Mobile phone cameras and improved broadband access are among the main weapons citizen journalists will have to take on professional journalists, though even the professionals are set to increasingly rely on mobile telephony.

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Growth in the use of mobile phones in creating news content is likely to be led by Asia, which has about half of the world’s cellphones compared to the estimated eight percent in circulation in the US.

This is the picture painted by respected international media analyst Professor Stephen Quinn of The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China (UNNC) in his latest book, MoJo – Mobile Journalism in the Asian Region.

An estimated two out of every three adults around the world owned a mobile phone in 2009, or a staggering 4.2bn adults. “About half of those phones contain a camera, which potentially means a pool of more than two billion reporters,” said Professor Quinn.

This 2011, second edition publication is the latest in a string of specialist books on the media published by Professor Quinn, who heads UNNC’s International Communications division.

The University, where all programmes are taught in English to the same high standards at The University of Nottingham in the UK, has a growing focus on journalism and media studies. It is hosting an important conference on “China’s media in a global context” at its campus in Ningbo, Zhejiang – about three hours by road from Shanghai – in May.

The event has attracted some of the world’s top media scholars, including from mainland China, to deliver their latest research and to explore and debate the latest challenges in the sector.

The University’s International Communications division also offers a Contemporary Chinese Studies masters programme that enables postgraduate students from any discipline to develop a deep understanding of modern China’s history, culture, economy, politics and society. Mandarin language modules are available for all levels from beginner to advanced.

In his new, groundbreaking book, Professor Quinn describes the spread of the mobile phone as a newsgathering tool in the Asian region, and offers case studies and examples from around the world. Catering for journalism students and aspirant citizen journalists alike, the book emphasises practical issues.

Readers are given useful tips on how to become successful mojos, with valuable pointers on which internet tools have proven to be the most effective and popular in the world’s major newsrooms. Professor Quinn, who worked as a print and broadcast journalist for two decades before entering the world of academia, shares his techniques for the best use of a cellphone camera to ensure quality images.

The author covers essential ethical and legal questions, like how to deal with mobile images of people who have been filmed or photographed without their knowledge or permission.

Budding media entrepreneurs will find useful the ideas on possible revenue models to pay for mobile forms of journalism.

Professor Quinn’s other recent publications include: Asia’s Media Innovators (Vol 2), co-authored with Professor Kim Kieransof the University of King’s College in Canada; and chapters in Social Media and Politics: Online social networking and political communication in Asia, edited by Southeast Asian communications consultant Philip Behnke.

Professor Andrew Marton, Provost for Teaching and Learning and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at UNNC, said: “The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China places great emphasis on producing cutting-edge research that is relevant for business, industry and the communities around us.

“We hire leading academics from top universities and research institutions around the world. Their research feeds into our teaching programmes so that our students are benefiting from learning in an environment where the latest information is available,” he said.

“Students at UNNC receive an internationally excellent education that equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary for successful careers in a challenging global environment,” added Professor Marton.

The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China was the first Sino-foreign university to open its doors in 2004. It has attracted staff and students from around the world to its three faculties: science and engineering; arts and humanities; and social sciences, which includes a popular business school. Statistics filed with the Chinese authorities show that the University has a zero unemployment rate among its graduates. All find jobs or are accepted to postgraduate studies at top-ranking international universities within six months of graduation.

* For more information about the conference on “China’s media in a global context”, click here or visit http://www.nottingham.edu.cn/en/events/chinasmediainaglobalcontext.aspx

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news

Facts and figures at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/about/facts/factsandfigures.aspx

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Stephen Quinn, Head of International Communications, The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China, Mobile: +86-13454793480, stephen.quinn@nottingham.edu.cn; for a media pass to the conference, please contact: Jackie Hadland, Communications Officer, The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China on +86 (0) 574 8818 0940, +86-134 2935 5876, jackie.HADLAND@nottingham.edu.cn; Professor Andrew Marton, Vice-Provost: Teaching and Learning and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China, lisa.wang@nottingham.edu.cn
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: tim.utton@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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