Technology has always played an important part in the newsgathering and production process. Whether scribbling notes on a page, recording an event on videotape, or taping a telephone interview, journalists are accustomed to using a variety of technical tools to acquire the raw data they use to tell their stories.
Advances in new media technology are transforming these technical tools, which offer new ways to process raw news data in all its forms, whether handwritten notes, audio interviews, or video content. This chapter examines three broad areas of new media tools for digital news gathering and production. First, it examines tools for image acquisition and processing in which journalists interact directly with the content of those images. Second, it reviews tools for processing handwritten notes and audio content. And, third, it considers the mobile journalist workstation as an integrated system of news gathering and production for the reporter in the field. This chapter touches only briefly on the implications of the Internet in news gathering, which chapter 4 examines in detail. By and large, the Internet is a tool for secondary data collection (i.e., collecting data from other published sources) and for accessing public transactional records and represents a large enough subject to warrant a chapter of its own.