The Power of iPhones for TV Journalism

Michael Rosenblum
2 min readMar 26, 2024
Esteban Reynoso, MMJ, CBS News @Reynosotv

More and more TV news organizations are starting to equip their MMJs with iPhones or smart phones.

This makes a lot of sense — the phones shoot 4K video, they edit, they can add graphics and music and they let the reporter go live.

But a lot of news organizations see the phone as a kind of substitute for a big camera. This is a mistake. Working with an iPhone can completely change TV journalism, and here’s why.

Esteban Reynoso, a journalist with KOVR, the CBS station in Sacramento took one of our 5-day bootcamps last week. During the bootcamp, reporters shoot, edit and produce two video stories. Normally they set the story up. Not this time. Esteban came across a powerful story by pure serendipity.

He came across a homeless woman pawing through a trash bin in search of a few cans and bottles. How many times have we seen this and simply moved on. Instead, Esteban began to film her with his phone. Then he spent the rest of the day following her.

What he created, (see below) was an incredibly poignant story about a woman in trouble; just trying to survive. At the end of a long day of collecting cans and bottles, he follows her to the recycling center, where she received $6.30 for her labors —

It’s an intimate portrait of someone that both society and news generally ignores, yet it speaks volumes.

Why did it work?

Because Esteban was working with an iPhone, which he carried in his pocket all the time. He has it with him 24/7; so he was prepared to report at any time, on the fly. No one, no matter how dedicated, carries a SONY XDCam with them. No one is accompanied by a photog all the time. This is real reporting, the way a newspaper journalist carries a pencil and pad. This is real enterprise reporting. The tech frees reporters to carry out original journalism, whenever and wherever it happens.

Take a look at his story.

It works

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Michael Rosenblum

Co-Founder TheVJ.com, Father of Videojournalism, trained 40,000+ VJs. Built VJ-driven networks worldwide. Video Revolution. Founder CurrentTV, NYTimes TV. etc..