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How to Capture Breaking News Video on Your Cellphone

Thanks to modern "smart phones" and the internet, media by the people, for the people is finally a reality. Here's how to use your phone to be a mobile journalist.


  • : Don't risk your own safety to cover a news story. Stay alert at all times and back off if the situation becomes dangerous.
  • Step 1: Check your settings Check the video settings on your phone. Always use the highest video-capture resolution for the best video quality.
  • Step 2: Use a memory card Use the largest memory card your phone can handle. Video requires a lot of storage, and using an ample memory card will ensure you don't run out of space.
  • Step 3: Find the best position When you see news breaking, anticipate the action and position yourself accordingly. Try to predict where the subject will go and find a vantage point where you can capture the events as they unfold.
  • Step 4: Use a steady hand Keep your hand steady while shooting to avoid shaky video. Better yet, hold your phone with both hands and keep your elbows braced against your torso for support. If you're near a flat surface, brace yourself against that instead.
  • TIP: To be really prepared, pick up a pocket-size cell phone tripod, available at most electronics stores, and carry it with you.
  • Step 5: Start wide, then close Start off with a wide shot to establish the scene; then focus in on the subject. Physically move towards your subject rather than using your camera's digital zoom. You'll get smoother results.
  • TIP: Capturing crowd reactions is a great way to add context to the main action.
  • Step 6: Share your video Once you've captured a breaking event, upload your video to a blog or social-media site. Congratulations! You've just entered the world of mobile journalism.
  • FACT: With a YouTube account, you can upload video straight from your phone to YouTube. Go to "": to find out how.

You Will Need

  • A cell phone that can record video
  • A memory card
  • A steady arm
  • A cell phone tripod

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