Filing copy: ancient and modern

I’m having an “ain’t technology marvellous” moment – much like a drunken uncle in the 80s suddenly discovering VCRs.

The cause of this is that I am updating my blog while on holiday. (Despite this, I do have lots of mates, some of whom are not on Facebook.)

I’m not doing this from a cybercafe or from a borrowed PC or from my laptop via a wifi connection. I’m posting from my Nokia E61.

I know this does not put me at the cutting edge but it has made me think of an incident in my pre-online career when I was caught in the middle of an example of technology being unmarvellous. Right on deadline a correspondent in a war zone had failed to file. I finally got hold of him. He was raging, almost in tears. His laptop wouldn’t work and he was at the mercy of the IT late man. It didn’t help that the corr hated computers and the IT late man hated journalists and computers. Eventually I intervened and the journo dictated his story to copytakers.

How odd it seems now that sending words from country to country nearly brought the news process to its knees, while now I can tap this entry effortlessly on my mobile.

(That is not my most dramatic “late copy” memory of that time. That honour belongs to the impressive Chris Stephen who answered a panicked demand for words by saying: “I’ll file as soon as I can but I’m being held at gunpoint.” He was effortlessly cool about it – so cool I could tell he was, while terrified, loving it. And he filed before deadline. What a pro.)

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1 Comment

Filed under Journalism, newmedia

One response to “Filing copy: ancient and modern

  1. The mobile phone has revolutionised reporting. It can do so much more. This relatively untapped channel will prove invaluable in the future. Journalists, advertisers and consumers are only just beginning to realise the potential of the device in their pocket.

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