Wireless reporter relies on Internet, portable gear for live ABC News shots

ABC News journalist Wonbo Woo has made a bit of television news history by becoming the first network reporter to do one-man-band live shots via IP for a television network.

Equipped with a portable camera, tripod, handheld mic, laptop computer, cell phone and wireless broadband Wi-Fi card, Woo delivered live reports from Boston and New York covering the Democratic and Republican political conventions for ABC News Now (see “ABC News Now delivers gavel-to-gavel coverage and much more” in this edition of NTU.)

Cheaper and faster than traditional ENG and SNG, Woo’s wireless set up gives the network greater flexibility in the way it uses its newsgathering resources. Woo, a producer for World News Tonight, is free from the bulky equipment normally associated with field reporting.

To send his reports back to ABC’s control room in Manhattan, Woo relies on wireless Internet hotspots with reliable signal coverage. Among those locations are Starbucks coffee houses and McDonalds restaurants. Woo’s reports for ABC follow similar moves by the BBC and Reuters to take advantage of the economies of the Internet and the lower weight of modern cameras and laptops to put their own one-man-band news crews into the field.

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