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When COVID-19 swept across the globe, it changed life as we knew it. The pandemic, coupled with technological advances, has changed modern reporting processes. In response to a challenge faced by a student reporter, it was clear consideration was needed for journalists who may not have access to professional gear. With that in mind, the Mobile & Remote Journalism Toolkit was created. The goal was to provide instruction on how to produce multimedia journalism with nothing more than a cell phone or a phone and computer.

This toolkit is framed in a step-by-step process of reporting a story, from setting up and conducting interviews to creating photo and video to then posting the story on social media. It can be used from start to finish for story-reporting or maneuvered section by section for instruction on a certain part of the reporting process. This toolkit is meant to be the foundation of a living document that is updated as best practices and technology for digital and mobile reporting evolve. The hope is that it will be used and adapted as needed.

This guide was produced by the staff of Klein College of Media and Communication’s Philadelphia Neighborhoods, with the help of student workers, Madison Karas and Jeremy Elvas. Special thanks to The Temple News for its contributions.

If there are any updates, corrections or suggestions, please email Philadelphia Neighborhoods’ Program Director Christopher Malo at malo@temple.edu.

Last updated: July 31, 2020

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.) Setting Up Interviews

2.) Interviewing: In-Person vs. Remote

3.) Writing the Story

4.) Taking Photos

5.) Editing Photos

6.) Shooting Video

7.) Editing video

8.) Social Media Reporting

9.) Digital Security

10.) App Suggestions for Mobile Reporting

11.) Gear Suggestions for Mobile Reporting

List of all graphics and videos:

MOBILE & REMOTE REPORTING TOOLKIT

1.) Setting Up Interviews

While door-knocking or showing up in person to request an interview is more difficult during COVID-19 and for remote reporting, contacting sources can still be done through email, phone calls, social media, or text messages to set up an interview.

In the case of a “man on the street” interview, social media also can be helpful. Try making general posts to Facebook groups (like this one or this one, if reporting on COVID-19 in Philadelphia), tweets asking to speak to certain people (like this, if reporting on incarceration), and asking colleagues to share your post with the request.

Social media makes it possible to crowdsource story ideas and identify initial people to speak with for your reporting.

It is also worthwhile to call people, businesses, and organizations. Leave a message with the request, and politely follow up in three days if you have not heard back.

Another tip is to try and figure out what someone's email at a business or organization might be if you don't already have that contact information. It is not unusual for companies to have a standardized naming convention for assigning email addresses. If you can find a few people's email addresses within the organization and notice a pattern, you can try making an educated guess. (Example: tom.smith@, tomsmith@, tsmith@, t-Smith@, etc.) You can also try services like Hunter to aid in your search.

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2.) Interviewing: In-person vs. Remote

In-person (audio only)

  • If you’re doing an interview in-person, a phone or computer can be used to record audio of your interview.
  • Make sure the sound quality is ideal in the remote location. Check audio levels and sound before the interview and make sure you're not picking up wind or other background noises.
  • For iPhone users: The pre-installed Voice Memos recording app works to record, save, edit and export audio. You can also download other recording apps from the App Store.
  • For Android users: There are multiple options of paid and unpaid apps from the Google Play store. A popular choice is Field Recorder ($4.69)
  • Transcribing an interview can be done manually by uploading an audio file from a phone or desktop to otter.ai. This program allows user-friendly controls for transcription, and also provides a somewhat usable automated transcription.

TIP: WORST CASE SCENARIO. If no phone apps work, use the default camera app on your laptop to record video in order to capture audio.

TIP: LAPEL/LAVALIER MICS. If you have a lapel mic to use for in-person audio-only interviews, do so. This is especially helpful if you’re planning to use the interview audio for a part of published reporting. Phone mic audio is reliable for transcribing, but not high enough quality/clarity to use for broadcast.

TIP: TWO AUDIO FILES. As technical issues may happen with any method of recording, it’s recommended to record interviews on at least two devices in case one file gets damaged.

TIP: TEST RUN. Test your gear and recording process out with a friend before the interview.

TIP: POWER CHECK. Check and double-check all your devices are charged before the interview, and bring back up batteries and/or chargers.

In-person (video)

There are plenty of different ways to go about filming an in-person interview, but it mostly depends on the gear available. If possible, it’s best to have at least a phone tripod and lapel mic.

For best video recording camera settings, refer to Section #6, Shooting Video.

Set up (before interview)

  • Clean the phone’s camera lens.
  • Free up storage space on your phone or recording device.
  • The general rule of thumb is 1GB = one minute of recording time.
  • It is recommended to keep at least 3GB of storage free at all times.
  • For iPhone users, you can upgrade from 5GB of iCloud storage to 50GB for 99 cents per month.
  • Fully charge your phone’s battery and bring a spare portable battery/power bank.

For guidance on default phone settings, refer to Section #4, Taking Photos.

Set up (at interview)

  • Turn on Airplane Mode/Do Not Disturb to avoid interruptions during the interview
  • Turn on AE Lock on camera to keep the exposure and focus consistent in the shot.
  • Before starting, do a test recording using prompt questions with your interviewee. Listen back to the audio.
  • Make sure the sound quality is ideal in the remote location. Check audio levels and sound before the interview and make sure you're not picking up wind or other background noises.

Infographic: At the interview checklist

Shooting the interview

  • Keep your phone horizontal
  • Use a tripod if possible
  • Keep a bright light behind you — don’t backlight the interviewee
  • Frame the interviewee — position them in a medium shot using the rule of thirds
  • Eliminate background noise as much as possible

Infographic: Shooting the interview checklist

Remote (phone call)

When conducting an interview using a phone call, the first thing to consider is how to record the call’s audio while on the call. It may be helpful to use a second device to record the conversation while on the call.

If a second device, like a laptop or tablet, is available, desktop voice recording apps can record a conversation while the call is on speaker.

If a stable Wi-Fi connection is unavailable or downloading apps isn’t an option, you can use built-in recording programs on an extra device to record audio or use a webcam software on a laptop to record video that captures audio of the interview.

If a second device is unavailable, there are apps available to record an interview while a phone call is taking place. If recording the interview to use for publication or broadcast, ideally, you’ll want to use an external audio recording device to record.

Refer to our compiled list of phone recording apps, refer to Section #10, App Suggestions.

Phone interview tips

  • Make sure to limit background noise as much as possible and close any tabs or programs on your device that could create noise.
  • Speak closely to your device’s microphone.
  • Record and export your audio as an MP3 file to ensure easy upload to audio editing platforms or a website.
  • Consider having both you and your interviewee wearing headphones or using an external mic while on the call.

REMINDER: Pennsylvania is a “two-party consent” state when it comes to recording conversations. This means both parties need to know recording is happening during the conversation, which means you should record that consent being given. Refer to state laws for recording conversations.

Remote (video call)

In the same way there’s a pre-production process in setting up a frame for an in-person interview, there’s also a pre-production process for composing remote video call interviews. Give your source some guidelines and pointers prior to the interview for how to be set up.

For best video recording camera settings, refer to Section #6, Shooting Video.

Video: Video Call Setup

Framing the interview

  • Think if there is a way for the source’s background to complement the story (i.e. If it’s a story about a restaurant owner, could the person be in the restaurant or a kitchen?)

COVID-19 Note: The above might be more difficult during the coronavirus pandemic, but ask if they have a background/room in the room in their house that could be of interest to the story.

  • The background should be as uncluttered as possible and in an appropriate setting, but also not completely bare or against a blank wall.
  • Anyone in the shot should be three feet in front of the background.
  • Sit in front of a window or close to a lamp/light source. Make sure light is coming from in front of the person, not behind them, in order to avoid backlighting.
  • The camera should be at eye-level, not too high or too low of an angle of someone’s face. If needed, use props to elevate the laptop/phone to an appropriate height.
  • If using a phone, make sure it is positioned horizontally.

Infographic: Video call setup

Video calling platforms (mobile and laptop)

Different platforms have various strengths and weaknesses for recording video call interviews, but what’s important is that both parties have access to the same platform. Defer to your source’s preferred platform and be familiar with the most commonly used ones. Be prepared to explain options, help your source download and set one up, and troubleshoot if necessary.

Skype: You’ll need to use a screen recording platform to record your software screen (See: Screen Recording section below).

FaceTime: If you can use vertical or square video for your project (which comes in handy for social media reporting), FaceTime is a good option if both parties have an iPhone. You’ll need to use a screen recording platform to record your iPhone screen (See: Screen Recording section below).

Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts is an easy, free option for Google account users to conduct video calls. This option is not good though if you’re looking to also easily record yourself as an interview. You’ll need to use a screen recording platform to record your software screen (See: Screen Recording section below).

Zoom: Zoom is currently the preferred platform for managing access for multiple parties on a call. Once you pay for access to a Zoom, you can record your meeting either to the Zoom cloud or your desktop in the software and export to MP4.

Jitsi: Jitsi is a free and open-source multi-user video calling platform. You’ll need to use a screen recording platform to record your software screen (See: Screen Recording section below).

Conducting the interview

  • When asking questions, look into your web camera, not the screen
  • Mute yourself when you’re not talking
  • Sit up straight, frame yourself in the screen
  • Have subject record their audio/video on their own device

Infographic: Conducting the interview checklist

[VIDEO TUTORIAL - CONDUCTING A VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Screen recording (mobile and laptop)

There are various iOS and Android, Mac and Windows software programs pre-installed on devices for screen recording, along with other options available through app stores to use.

TIPS:

  • For iPhone, on iOS 11 or later, you can configure settings to access screen recording. Make sure to turn the microphone setting that appears from “off” to “on” before recording to include with sound.
  • For Android, on Android 10 or later, you can configure settings to access screen recording controls.
  • For Mac, you can record through Quicktime. Make sure to “turn on mic” in settings. Go to File -> New screen recording, click the down arrow and select “internal microphone.”
  • For PC, on Windows 10 or later, you can use a workaround through the operating system’s built-in screen recorder, Xbox Game Bar, to record.

Video: Screen recording using QuickTime

TIPS:

  • AUDIO. Many screen recording programs require manually adjusting settings to record external audio, while the default option is to record no audio.
  • DO NOT DISTURB. Before screen recording, make sure to exit out of all tabs, close all programs and turn on the Do Not Disturb mode on your device.
  • TEST RUN. Try out your screen recording methods in advance before the interview.

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3.) Writing the Story

Without a laptop:

You can draft your stories using various document apps with online and off-line Wi-Fi capabilities, such as Google Docs and Evernote. Depending on what publishing platform your site uses, you may be able to publish directly through apps like WordPress.

With a laptop:

You can write a draft of your story using your computer’s installed word processing system, like Pages or Microsoft Word, if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi. If Wi-Fi is accessible, you can use programs like Google Docs, which has an offline function if you backup your story in advance.

TIP: PUBLISHING TO PLATFORM. If you’re posting your story directly to a site, make sure to have a secure Wi-Fi connection.

Digital storytelling

Outside of any photo and video elements you’re planning to add to your story, consider how alternative storytelling formats may also be effective.

  • Embedding social media posts: Has a source or organization made a post related to your story? Adding social media, like tweets, Instagram photos, or Facebook posts in stories can help break up text and add context to them.
  • Illustrations or graphics: Would visually conceptualizing something in your story help a reader better understand an idea mentioned in it? Creating graphics or illustrations that help layout and frame ideas can help readers understand stories.
  • Data visualization: If a story heavily involves data, numbers or statistics, visualizing it through graphs and charts can help readers understand trends or significant figures. Use easy tools like Data Wrapper and Flourish to do this.
  • Lists: Breaking up blocks of text or simplifying information into lists, tables or timelines can either add new information to a story or consolidate information in a simple format.

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4.) Taking Photos

Shooting on mobile phones

  • Don’t use flash. In most cases it ruins candid moments, makes everyone feel weird, frightens small animals and looks… awful.
  • Try shooting from different angles. Do not just shoot from your eye level all the time. Crouch! Get on your tippy-toes!
  • Your feet are your zoom. Using your phone to zoom in usually sacrifices quality. Get closer yourself.

TIP: SETTINGS.

  • Rule of thirds: Go into phone camera settings and “Enable Grid” to use the rule of thirds while shooting.
  • Enable Smart HDR in your camera settings to create a copy of the image with improved exposure.

TIP: EXPOSURE. Tap the screen where you want the focus of the photo to be (usually your subject). A box will appear and the phone will “expose,” or lighten the photos, as best it can.

Exporting photos to a computer or external hard drive

iPhone

  • Use a USB cable to connect to the USB computer port
  • After iPhone is connected, open the Photos folder inside it, usually labeled “DCIM”
  • Copy those images into your computer into a separate folder
  • If you are using a Mac/MacBook, use the iPhone’s Bluetooth AirDrop feature to quickly export it
  • If shooting as HEIC files, use a site to convert file type to JPEG like heictojpg.com

Android

  • Use a USB cable to connect to the USB port of a computer
  • If using an SD or other external memory card, you can use an SD reader with the USB port
  • Copy those images into your computer into a separate folder
  • Make sure they are JPEG/JPG format; you can convert them during the editing process in Lightroom or Photoshop or through an online image converter like https://image.online-convert.com/convert-to-jpg

Programs like Google Drive and Google Photos allow images to be synced into Cloud storage from your device and be accessed and downloaded to your computer.

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5.) Editing Photos

Photo editing basics

In photojournalism, aim to edit the photo truthfully and accurately as you captured it, with only basic edits to sharpen the shot’s attention on the subject photographed.

Editing on phone using native apps

Cell phones come with various limited in-camera editing capabilities which include tools to adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, temperature and tint. For iPhones, this can be done through the Photos app. For Android, the app is specific to your particular phone. Refer to documentation for your particular device for more information.

Editing on computer using native programs

Macs and PCs come with software or programs with limited photo editing capabilities that include tools to adjust exposure, brightness, contrast, temperature and tint. For Macs, this can be done through Photos. For PC, the software is specific to your particular system. Refer to documentation for your particular computer for more information.

Video: Photo editing on iPhone

RULE: Absolutely NO removing/adding/altering objects in photos. This is unethical and dishonest.

For a list of compiled photo editing apps, refer to Section #10, App Suggestions.

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6.) Shooting Video

Default camera settings

If possible, shoot video at 1080p at 60 frames per second. It is not recommended to shoot at 30 fps. You can find options to adjust these under your camera settings.

iPhone

Switch to higher quality video by shooting in 1080p at 60 fps (This setting requires the use of High-Efficiency export, see below.) (Settings>Camera>Record Video>1080p at 60 fps).

Exporting settings

iPhone will export to mov files. You can help control the size of the video you’ll capture by choosing either Most Compatible or High Efficiency. Most Compatible exports in H.264, while High Efficiency will export to HEIF/HEVC format. High efficiency will make video less compatible for sharing on different screen sizes, but will take up less space on your phone.

Video: iPhone video settings

TIP: SAVING SETTINGS. You can save all your changed camera settings by going to Camera>Preserve Settings>Camera Mode.

Android

Switch to higher quality video by setting quality to 1080p at 60 fps.

Set your aspect ratio

If you’ll be working in a specific frame requirement, check to change the aspect ratio directly within your camera app.

Stabilize video

Some Androids include a feature for stabilizing video called Super Steady. You can turn it on in your camera app.

Enable Gridlines

You can enable gridlines on your camera to help you frame using the Rule of thirds (Settings>Camera Settings>Grid lines>3x3).

Exporting settings/file

Android will export to MP4 files. You can help control the size of the video you’ll capture by changing your video size. If you choose “rear video size,” you’ll see a toggle where you can switch on/off High-Efficiency video. High Efficiency will export to HEIF/HEVC format and will make video less compatible for sharing on different screen sizes, but will take up less space on your phone.

Filming with a phone

Framing

Unless you’re shooting video specifically for or limited to some mobile social media platforms, you should always position your phone horizontally when shooting.

Lighting

  • Outside: The sun is your friend. Make sure to position your interview subjects with the sun facing them, not behind them.
  • Inside: Turn on room lights. Do not record subjects with light source behind them. This will create silhouette effects.

Sound quality

Make sure the sound quality is ideal in the remote location. Check audio levels and sound before the interview and make sure you're not picking up wind or other background noises.

Focus and exposure

When shooting, tap your phone screen where you want to focus (that would be on the subject, usually). The phone will expose or lighten the shot the best it can, along with focusing on the area or subject. A box will come up. If you are satisfied with the focus and exposure levels, select AE/AF Lock to prevent these settings from changing while you are shooting.

Composition

  • Try shooting from different angles. Do not just shoot at your eye level all the time. Crouch! Get on your tippy-toes!
  • Your feet are your zoom. Using the phone’s zoom usually sacrifices the shot’s quality. Get closer yourself.
  • Hold your shots for at least 15 seconds.
  • Follow the rule of thirds for framing interviews.

Video: Setting Up/Framing the Shot on Mobile

COVID-19 Note: Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, it is critical to sanitize equipment between interviews to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

TIP: AIRPLANE MODE. Turn your phone on airplane mode to prevent messages from popping up while you are recording video.

Video: Sanitizing your equipment

Gear

If you have a tripod or gimbal, find good shots, hold steady for 15 seconds each and alternate between wide, medium and tight/closeup shots.

If you don’t have a tripod or gimbal, place your phone on a steady platform when filming. Use stacked together books or furniture if necessary to get a steady shot. (Refer to Video Call Setup in Section 2, Interviewing)

If you have an external mic, Try to use lav/lapel mics for in-person interviews. Place the mic on your subject while ensuring that obstacles are not in contact with the mic. Try to use mic windscreens when possible.

If you don’t have an external mic, move your phone close to the subject to record the best quality sound.

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7.) Editing Video

On phone using native apps

Cell phones come with various limited in-camera editing capabilities which include tools for trimming your video, rotating your video, etc. For iPhones, this can be done through the Photos app. For Android, the app is specific to your particular phone. Refer to documentation for your particular device for more information.

On computer using native programs

Macs and PCs come with software or programs with limited video editing capabilities which include tools for trimming your video, rotating your video and more. For Macs, this can be done through Photos. For PC, the software is specific to your particular system. Refer to documentation for your particular computer for more information.

TIP: THIRD-PARTY APPS. A highly suggested external program and app for editing video is Adobe Premiere Rush. For a compiled list of editing apps, refer to Section #10, App Suggestions.

Editing basics

  • Match voice overs and/or soundbites with video relating to what is being discussed.
  • Always use an establishing wide or medium-wide shot at the beginning of your video to set the scene of your narrative. Alternate shots using wide, medium and tight/closeup shots.
  • Use action shots to illustrate your narrative. This is done by using video to capture what is being reported in the story happening. Show what is being described in action.
  • Soundbites should be around six to 12 seconds.
  • Do not string together different portions of interviews in a consecutive order or manipulate the sentences of your interview subjects. Instead, break up these portions of soundbites with either your own voiceover track or ambient sound breaks. This establishes clear distinctions between soundbite clips.
  • Use lower third titles to show names and relevant information about interview subjects when they are first introduced.

Video: Editing iPhone Video With Photos App

Exporting video

Almost all modern video editing software and apps have simplified options for exporting video on your phone or to a gallery, drive or desktop of your choice. Begin by selecting Export Settings and for Format choose H.264. This gives options based on your preferred delivery platform (e.g. Vimeo 720p or 1080p, YouTube 720p or 1080p).

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8.) Social Media Reporting

In the age of open and citizen journalism, social media is used by reporters for gathering, reporting and distributing information.

Twitter

Twitter is by far the most popular platform and industry standard for journalists to report news as it's happening. Sometimes for breaking news, reporters livetweet as events are happening using Twitter threads. This can be an effective tool to get information to readers quickly and can be referenced when actually writing the story later. Here is an example of protest-related coverage.

Twitter also has a live streaming feature.

Instagram

Instagram is becoming an increasingly attractive platform for sharing photojournalism and videography and to create interactive reporting.

Traditional posts grant reporters a platform to share a series of photo and video coverage of a story.

IGTV enables reporters to share videos longer than a minute.

Story posts and highlights allow outlets to break down articles into engaging briefs through text and visuals. Here and here are examples of protest and COVID-19-related coverage.

Instagram also has a live streaming feature.

Facebook

Due to the private nature of individual profiles, Facebook isn’t as efficient for reporters to publicly share information, but has a durable live streaming feature.

Engagement practices

Tagging

Always tag organizations/people/businesses in the social post when possible. Use full handles of organizations/people/businesses with @ sign in post. Sentences can start with tags, but not end with them. If a tweet starts with a tag, it needs a . before the @.

Hashtagging

It’s not always necessary to hashtag every post or tweet with general hashtags, but if there are specific hashtags related to what you’re covering, make sure to know and use them with your posts. Example: #phillyprotests on Twitter.

Social posts

Along with reporting in general, try and keep your posts short, concise and to the point. Try and convey as much detailed information as possible, but keep them 1-2 sentences long.

Social cards

When sharing websites, articles or reports on social media, make sure they display with your post as a “card” to make them easiest for an audience to click on and access. They’ll usually automatically display, but if not, here are instructions for Twitter and Facebook cards.

Linking

Social cards will typically take care of the need to include links in social posts, but if not, note that Twitter will automatically shorten links to 23 characters or less. On other platforms, consider using link shorteners like Bit.ly to reduce link character count. While hyperlinks can be added to an Instagram bio, it’s not possible to add links to posts.

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9.) Digital Security

Sometimes the privacy of access to interviews, files or story drafts can be a concern when using public or shared IP addresses while reporting on a story. For that reason, it’s best to have knowledge of and access to basic digital security precautions.

For a list of compiled digital security apps, refer to Section #10, App Suggestions.

Virtual Private Networks

Creating your own virtual private networks, or VPNs, helps protect your browsing actions by masking your IP address when connected to a public network. It makes your presence on the network virtually unnoticeable and is a stronger security blanket than private Wi-Fi hotspots or incognito browsers. You can create VPN networks using a variety of VPN apps and software.

Encrypted messaging

If there are concerns about or a need for a source to communicate with an editor privately, using encrypted messaging helps ensure communications are not intercepted by a third party. Various carriers and network services give different levels of encrypted protection, but it’s best to use programs and apps like Signal, which allows you to communicate in-app using a security number.

File sharing

For securely sending and sharing multimedia files, consider using private storage options like Dropbox or drives like Microsoft OneDrive that have file vaults.

TIP: TWO-STEP AUTHENTICATION & PASSWORD MANAGERS. For any platform you use while reporting, consider using two-step authentication of your account credentials and password manager apps to keep track of your login information.

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10.) App Suggestions for Mobile Reporting

Voice recording

Screen recording

Video calling

Transcribing

Writing

Video & photo editing

Engagement

Digital security

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11.) Gear Suggestions for Mobile Reporting

There are many options for accessories and stabilizing devices to make your videos professional.

Gimbals

These are devices that turn your phone cameras into steady cams. You can achieve cinematic looks on a budget. The ones listed below offer auto-track features that will automatically follow you or an interview subject. The DJI brand comes from a reliable company.

Clip-on lenses

Clip-on lenses can be attached to most mobile phone cameras and can allow for various focal lengths, such as wide angles, fish-eye, macro and telephoto. They usually come in a pack of several lenses and are universal with most phones. Popular manufacturers include CamKix, Olloclip, and Xenvo.

Audio adapters

You may need audio adapters to make your smartphones work with certain attachments. See adapters for audio configurations below. Reliable manufacturers include Rode, Sony and Apple.

Lav mics

Also known as lapel mics, these external lav mics plug into your mobile devices. You can greatly improve the quality of your interviews with these. It is highly recommended that you use windscreens to eliminate extraneous noises. Reliable manufacturers include Rhode and Sony.

COVID-19 Note: Due to coronavirus safety concerns, we recommend to not use windscreens while interviewing people. They tend to hold germs and are difficult to properly sanitize in the field due to texturing. However, it is recommended to use it for yourself on-camera if you are in a controlled environment with no risk of virus contamination.

Selfie sticks

These accessories are especially essential during COVID, as they allow you to maintain controlled distances while using your cell phone to record video and/or audio. Popular manufacturers include MPOW and Anker.

Tripods

Tripods make it possible to establish steady shots with your cell phone while covering stories. They are useful to provide professional quality steady shots for production purposes. Trusted brands include Magnus and Manfrotto.

Lights

Lights provide more control of the look of your interviews. They are useful, in terms of adding enhanced optics for on-camera hosts and interview subjects. Popular brands include Litepanels and Lowel.

Gear bags

Gear bags protect equipment and make transporting everything easier and more comfortable. Ruggard is a popular and well-reviewed company for these types of bags.

Adapters for external audio configurations

These adapters allow various mic systems to plug into cell phones. They are quite useful, in terms of allowing you the flexibility to use different tools, while covering stories. Recommended brands include Apple and Rode.

Cleaning kits

Cleaning kits are specially designed to keep electronic and optical devices clear of dust and smudges which can ruin your shots. You can also use eyeglass wiping cloths as an alternative. Camkix and Zeiss are recommended brands.

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