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Mobile chargers you will like

 

Sree Sreenivasan, chief digital officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a technology-based journalist in New York City, touts an ABC for mobile media.

Always Be Charged.

“If you leave the house in the morning and you don’t have a plan for keeping your mobile devices charged throughout the entire day, you are not prepared completely for the demands of mobility in journalism,” he told a capacity crowd at a Society of Professional Journalists/Kiplinger Program JournCamp in New York City.

port-suction-cup-window-solar-charger-xl

Port Solar Charger

Devices for charging are plentiful and in the past few years they’ve saturated the market. Down from the common price of $100 or more of a couple of years ago, you can pick up smaller amp chargers (around 2200 mAh) at flea markets or box stores for $5.

I own three such chargers; one sports a smart Kiplinger logo.

But, chargers, no matter how small, require pockets, purses, cases or a wider hand. Just above that hand is a wrist and while the technology hasn’t overwhelmed the market to date (many solar bracelets are still in development stage and crowd-funding mode), there are some reasonable products on the market worthy of your consideration. Continue reading

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Journalists seek police body-cam videos

A year ago Adam Marshall submitted the first-ever records request for body camera video to Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department. It was in the wake of violence in Ferguson, Missouri, but before the shooting death by police of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, and months before Freddie Gray died of spinal injuries in Baltimore police custody.

“I’m still waiting on the results of that request,” said Marshall, an attorney for Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, speaking at the Ohio Law and Media Conference in Columbus last month.

Accessing footage of body-worn cameras — the latest technological bandage applied to the complex issue of hemorrhaging race relations in America — poses particular headaches for journalists.

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Panoramic, 3D photo apps put to test for journalists


360 Panorama shot inside the Ohio Union at Ohio State University. Hint: To view on a computer, click with one finger while swiping left to right with another, then releasing.

 

Think of the possibilities.

You’re in the middle of an intense news scene that words alone cannot describe. A fire has engulfed a block of houses, or a multi-vehicle crash shuts down the interstate.

Or maybe you’re writing a travel piece and stumble into a breathtakingly beautiful landscape. Or maybe the town’s star football player just got a new tattoo or broke his nose.

Two-dimensional photos are great. Yet what journalist hasn’t come across a scene that could be captured much better in 3D or panorama?

Time was (just a few years back) your photo staff would have to rent a GigaPan mechanical device to rotate a series of cameras, then spend hours calibrating and testing it. Kiplinger has one of those in storage.

But now a number of apps allow you — Reporters! Photographers! Anyone! — to capture surprisingly good-quality 3-D and panoramic images with simply a few taps on your smartphone.

After hearing a lot of buzz at recent journalism conferences, Kip decided to check some photo imaging apps out. We asked a photographer to test drive several. To be sure that they’re basic enough for everyone, we wordy types gave them a whirl, too. Big surprise: The photog liked them so much he decided to use them on assignment for his newspaper.

What we found:

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Egypt’s war on journalists showcased for the world

Updated Aug. 31, 2015

When journalists make the news as much as they cover it, something has gone wrong. Lately in Egypt, journalists have been in the headlines with disturbing regularity.

On Saturday two Al Jazeera journalists, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian cameraman Baher Mohamed, were again sent to prison after being retried on charges of broadcasting false news. The two, who had spent more than 400 days in prison, were widely expected to be cleared of charges. Instead, they received a 3-year sentence. Mohamed received an extra six months for possession of a spent bullet casing.

Unfortunately the two are not alone. The Committee to Protect Journalists says Egypt remains one of the world’s leading jailers of media workers (22 at last count, up from 12 in March).

Celebrated blogger Alla Abd El Fattah in February received a five-year sentence for what prosecutors called illegal protest. Reporters covering mass protests in Cairo this January were questioned and detained; one was handed over to pro-government demonstrators, who dragged her to the ground, punched and slapped her, she reported. The crackdown came days after President Albdel Fattah Al-Sisi promised to release several jailed journalists.

It was also Cairo in 2011 where 60 Minutes reporter Laura Logan was gang raped by a crowd of protestors while covering the Arab Springs uprising.

Except for a brief hiatus after the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, journalists in Egypt have had negligible media freedom. For years, they have faced harassment and obstructionism when reporting. Their stories can be weighty, such as the killing of 20 protesters at the rallies in January. Or, as I know well, the topics can be politically benign — like whether garbage pickers outside of Cairo have any legal claim to land on which they are squatting.

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Digital summit, Sierra Leone, new website: All in a year’s work

Journalists can’t help themselves. The calendar begins to turn and we feel the need to reminisce about the year that was.

At the Kiplinger Program, we couldn’t resist telling you about what we accomplished in 2014. We put our heads together this week and thought about our achievements, and well, even though we were elbow deep in all this work, we allowed ourselves a moment to realize what we accomplished and enjoy what we think is an impressive list.

“These are great. This shows great progress in the program,” director Doug Haddix said.

Of course, nothing on this list is accomplishable without the contributions of so many journalists who worked with us as supporters, trainers, advisers, fellows and participants. So, the program’s successes are linked to the great people we work with from January to December.

In no special order, here are our Top 10 Moments for Kiplinger in 2014:

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