Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The annals of media transparency

Instant Network News might or might no succeed in its plans to bring digital newspapers to various neighborhoods around the greater Houston area, but we give them an "A" for letting us, the reading public, know the important steps that are being taken to accomplish its goal.

The latest news entails the unleashing of three Mobile News Station vehicles on the public of Fort Bend County.

Not even the mighty Houston Chronicle gives its newshounds such cool vehicles (a picture of which can be seen here (on the right of the page; it's a Chevy HHR panel car.)

(We assume, though we don't know for sure, that Allen Samuels Chevrolet had a hand in the delivery of the three vehicles, judging from the prominent ad on the front of FortBendNow.com. Remember, Allen Samuels, only "6 miles from Fort Bend," for all your Chevy needs.)

Anyways, each mobile news station vehicle is called a "Mo Jo" -- short for "mobile journalist."

Furthermore, Instant Network News says sophisticated equipment is gonna be equipped with each Mo Jo's "tool kit.":

Broadcast-quality Video
This recording quality is commonly referred to as “TV quality” resolution because it matches the resolution and frame rate seen in TV broadcasts.

Dell Vostro 1400 laptops
Each equipped with mobile hi-speed Internet to post content from anywhere – 24/7.

Treo 750 Smartphone
The Palm Treo 750 has wireless email and web access, broadband speed, and Microsoft Office.

The press release we received noted that the broadcast quality video will have "(MPEG-4)" -- way too technical for us to understand or explain but definitely top 'o the line shit.

Also, we are advised of the following:
"The Mo-Jo will be able to edit and file text, images, sound and video footage, and produce and publish multimedia stories of broadcast quality without needing to go to a traditional office." ... which oughta save on overhead, and besides, reporters need to get outta the office more often, even if they don't have a traditional office.

The only thing missing?

Uniforms for the mobile reporters.

We'd like to see something in a jumpsuit. Lots of zippers. With monogrammed names on the left pocket.


Anonymous said...

I was thinking about putting in an application until you brought up the jumpsuit idea.


Anonymous said...

Where's the iPhone?

Anonymous said...

Do not work for these people. Been there. Done that. Just in a different version.

FortBob said...


Thanks for the kind words. We're trying our best to take the advantages of the medium you've put to such good use for so long - and take its good news delivery attributes to their logical extreme.

Yup, we obtained our mo-jo HHRs from Allen Samuels, in a transaction separate from his ad purchase. The panel cars give our journalists a place to sit in comfort and report/write news stories as quickly as possible from wherever events occur. Each mo-jo's laptop is paired with a Treo phone that connects it to the Internet, so access is always available.

The idea is to post news articles as quickly as possible so that the public can see what may be about to hit them. As opposed to finding out 10 days later in one of the "weeklies" what it was that ran them over.

Anonymous - I assume you're with one of the "weeklies." I don't know who you worked with in the past, but I do know it wasn't me.

Bob Dunn, editorial director