This News Station Swapped Their Film Equipment for iPhones and Selfie Sticks
Daily news reporting can be a costly and labor-intensive ordeal, but one Swiss TV station has a solution: selfies.
This past summer, Swiss news program Léman Bleu swapped out their professional filming equipment for kits containing a microphone, an iPhone 6, and a selfie stick. The reporters are now expected to act as their own camera operators, using one hand to hold their microphones and the other to film their broadcasts selfie-style.
This isn’t the first example of a news station embracing the convenience of smartphone photojournalism. For just under a decade, “citizen journalists” have been encouraged to submit their amateur photos and videos to CNN as part of their iReport initiative. And in 2013, the Chicago Sun-Times made waves when they replaced their entire photography staff with reporters trained in “iPhone photography basics.”
Occasionally publishing smartphone photos is one thing, but distributing selfie sticks to your news crew is headline-worthy in its own right. The station's news director Laurent Keller told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps that the lower cost was definitely a significant factor, especially for a small regional network that only broadcasts a few hours a day. He also mentioned that the decision was made in search of “lightness and responsiveness.” According to Keller, the quality of their iPhone reporting is in no way inferior to what you’d get from a conventional camera. Selfie sticks may have gotten a bad rap in recent years, but they could be the future of TV journalism, for better or worse.