Reuters rolls out 'studio in a suitcase'

Journalists for Thomson Reuters are to be equipped with a portable multimedia suite that has been dubbed the agency as ‘studio in a suitcase’.

The lightweight and inexpensive portable studio comprises a Tandberg Edge 95 video camera, microphone, lights, tripod and monitor.

Some 60 bureaux in the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia will be the first to trial the kit, which allows users to connect to their nearest production centre via the web.

Thomson Reuters is also distributing 100 Flip video cameras and experimenting with other news-gathering tools.

One immediate use for the technology will be worldwide production of a soon-to-launch financial television service, Project Insider, aimed at 500,000 professional clients.

Reuters Insider managing editor Mike Stepanovich said the agency would complement the rollout of cameras with a wider distribution of lower quality webcam capabilities. He said this would allow the company to “reach all of our 2,700 journalists worldwide”.

Global editor of multimedia Chris Cramer told Press Gazette: “Long gone are the days where you spend scarce money in studio infrastructure. Long gone are the days when you spend limited money on satellite transmission. Broadband is the way these days and physics is on our side here.”

The streets of New York and London, said Cramer, were full of mobile phone owners capable of gathering news and content: “The business of gathering pictures is not rocket science anymore.”

Professional and consumer audiences were already dealing with all forms of media, he added, with major implications for the industry.

“Smart journalists are going to realise we don’t have an option to do one thing,” he said.

“We need to get the skills to work in media and not just one form of media. It doesn’t mean we can’t specialise in writing or we can’t specialise in camera work . . .But successful journalists in the future are going to have to be able to cope with a variety of media and publishing roles.”

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