A local TV station has decided to shoot their news using iPhone.
Is it a sign of the future, or the sign of a really cheap TV station?
The local TV news station that has gone “100% iPhone” is not based in the U.S., but is Switzerland.
Over the summer, Léman Bleu outfitted each of its reporters with an iPhone 6 kit to shoot their stories and to use for live shots.
News director Laurent Keller says Léman Bleu actually isn’t the first station to convert to iPhones; a Scandinavian outlet apparently has done it too. And he’s candid about the reasons why. “It’s a search for lightness and responsiveness, but also a way to reduce the costs of producing a newscast,” Keller told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps.
What about quality? Keller says iPhone video is different but not necessarily inferior to what a standard TV camera produces. “It’s up to us to reinvent the grammar of the image, to learn to shoot differently,” he said. The technology allows the station to go live at any time from anywhere, either on the air or on social media. That’s important to a small regional channel that broadcasts only a few hours a day.
So when will the iPhone only newsroom come to the U.S.?
Well, it kind of already did and it flopped. The Fox station in Charlotte equipped its Reporters with iPads and sent them into the field. But the “experimental” newscast they were asked to produce was scrapped this summer. “Plagued by technical problems and relying on journalists with little experience, it had an amateurish quality,” Mark Washburn wrote in the Charlotte Observer. “Viewers turned away.”
The Swiss station may not be too worried about ratings. Unlike U.S. TV outlets, Léman Bleu doesn’t have much local competition so Keller says it can afford to innovate and take risks.