Last week I was contacted by Emanuele Ballacci a Multimedia Journalism Degree student in Rome. He’d come to a talk I’d given earlier in the year in Perugia discussing the use of mobile phones and social media in reporting. As part of his graduation thesis about war journalism and new technologies he wanted to discuss ‘the usefulness of smartphones and new generation mobile phones on reporting from war contexts’, and wondered if I could suggest any books or reading on the subject. To date, he’d only found books that discuss the subjects separately.
This didn’t surprise me in some ways as using smart mobile devices in journalism is still fairly new and war zones aren’t often known for their 3G signals. You also know you’re onto something possibly interesting when a Google search comes back with results for smartphone wars (think iPhones v Androids). No immediate books came to mind. So I replied that I’d see what I could find out, as I was also interested in the answer.
Thankfully I do know people who at least may know the answer to such things. So I put a shout-out on Twitter and cc’d in the likes of Paul Bradshaw, Kevin Anderson and Ilicco Elia, who then asked those they thought might know and so on. The net widened and others such as Daniel Bennett chipped in. In combination we came up with the following:
- Interesting question, interesting area
- No books specifically on this area that we’re aware of
- To check the writing of Stephen Quinn – an academic in, journalism and media convergence as he has a book on using mobile in journalism (title waiting confirmation as neither Amazon nor Stephen’s own site seem to list all his 16+ publications)
- This blog post http://www.frontlineclub.com/blogs/danielbennett/2011/07/the-iphone-for-war-photographers.html by PhD student Daniel Bennett who is examining the impact of blogging and war reporting – he’d also be interested in anything more than this.
- There is an interesting critque of the use of the Hipstamtic app in war photography of Afghanistan http://owni.eu/2011/08/30/faux-vintage-afghanistan-and-the-nostalgia-for-war
- Research by Steven Livingston may be relevant, entitled: ‘The CNN effect reconsidered (again): problematizing ICT and global governance in the CNN effect research agenda’ (you have to read the abstract a few times to understand why)
- Two related books Allan & Matheson, Digital War Reporting; Hoskins & O’Loughlin, War and Media.
Everyone who responded wanted to know more.
I suggested to Emanuele that he could end up being the expert in this area, judging by our findings, and said I’d be writing up what little we’d found, and happy to include anything further that he’s aware of. He got back to me with the following wider reading list as follows:
Other food for thought that I found during my research:
– Online newsgathering, Quinn & Lamble
– Always On, Chen
– Multimedia Journalism: A practical guide, Bull
– In the Hot Zone, Sites
– An ironic but interesting suggestion: http://goo.gl/ZdFf9
If anyone knows of any other research, blog posts or books in this area please do suggest them in the comments below.