To capture all the news and excitement of the South Carolina primary, seven teams of “digital” reporters are using the latest in wireless technology to bring a unique and real-time perspective to reporting campaign highlights. The teams, directed by professional journalists, are comprised of students from USC’s College of Mass Communications and Information Studies.
Armed with only a Cingular wireless camera phone and their sharp reporters’ instincts, the digital reporters will follow the Democratic primary, capturing the sights and sounds of the campaign using multi-media messaging — pictures, audio and video – and then posting them directly to The Wireless Election Connection website. Back at Newsplex, editors will review all the collected images to provide an in-depth summary unlike anything that will be printed or broadcast by traditional news teams.
“We see this as an opportunity for our students to realize how technological advances will enhance the roles they will be playing in the future as professional journalists,” said Charles Bierbauer, Dean of the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies.
“A lot has been said about election candidates’ use of technology to drive their campaigns. In the same fashion, ‘The Wireless Election Connection’ will use the latest technology to assemble a mosaic of the day’s event that will go beyond the limits of traditional journalism, “ said Kerry Northup, executive director of the Ifra Centre for Advanced News Operations. “The process melds some of the best attributes of in-depth newspaper reporting and real-time television coverage, leveraging the interactivity and accessibility of the Internet and the mobility of wireless technologies.”
Designed as a model for the news industry, the Newsplex project is a prototype multiple-media, micro-newsroom for demonstration, research and training in next-generation news handling tools and techniques. Cingular Wireless’s all-digital GSM/GPRS network in South Carolina provides the backbone for its voice and advanced wireless data services.