USC Newsplex and Cingular Team to Form Real-Time News Source, the Wireless Election Connection

Newsplex and Cingular Team to Form Real-Time News Source, the 'Wireless
Election Connection'

Digital Reporters Use Latest in Wireless Technology to Cover SC Primary

COLUMBIA, S.C., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Although the votes have
not been cast, the future of reporting is expected to make a strong showing
tomorrow at the South Carolina Democratic Presidential Primary thanks to The
Wireless Election Connection, a joint effort by The Ifra Newsplex at the
University of South Carolina and Cingular Wireless.
To capture all the news and excitement of the South Carolina primary,
seven teams of "digital" reporters are utilizing the latest in wireless
technology to bring a unique and real-time perspective to reporting campaign
highlights. The teams, directed by professional journalists, are comprised of
students from USC's College of Mass Communications and Information Studies.
"This partnership symbolizes all the possibilities for future news
gathering techniques," said Rob Forsyth, Cingular's VP/GM for South Carolina
and North Carolina. "The Newsplex team of roving reporters will harness the
power of wireless devices and technology for news gathering, delivery and
management, creating true reporting mobility that delivers robust, real-time
images from the campaign trail. It's real grassroots reporting powered by the
latest in wireless technology."
Armed with only a Cingular wireless camera phone and their sharp
reporters' instincts, the digital reporters will follow the Democratic
primary, capturing the sights and sounds of the campaign using multi-media
messaging -- pictures, audio and video -- and then posting them directly to
The Wireless Election Connection website, .
Back at Newsplex, editors will review all the collected images to provide a
colorful, in-depth summary unlike anything that will be printed or broadcast
by traditional news teams.
"We see this as an opportunity for our students to realize how
technological advances will enhance the roles they will be playing in the
future as professional journalists," said Charles Bierbauer, Dean of the
College of Mass Communications and Information Studies.
"A lot has been said about election candidates' use of technology to drive
their campaigns. In the same fashion, 'The Wireless Election Connection' will
use the latest technology to assemble a mosaic of the day's event that will go
beyond the limits of traditional journalism," said Kerry Northup, executive
director of the Ifra Centre for Advanced News Operations. "The process melds
some of the best attributes of in-depth newspaper reporting and real-time
television coverage, leveraging the interactivity and accessibility of the
Internet and the mobility of wireless technologies."
Designed as a model for the news industry, the Newsplex project is a
prototype multiple-media, micro-newsroom for demonstration, research and
training in next-generation news handling tools and techniques. Cingular
Wireless's all-digital GSM/GPRS network in South Carolina provides the
backbone for its voice and advanced wireless data services.

Cingular Wireless, a joint venture between SBC Communications (NYSE: SBC)
and BellSouth (NYSE: BLS), serves more than 24 million voice and data
customers across the United States. A leader in mobile voice and data
communications, Cingular is the only U.S. wireless carrier to offer Rollover,
the wireless plan that lets customers keep their unused monthly minutes.
Cingular provides cellular/PCS service in 43 of the top 50 markets nationwide,
and provides corporate e-mail and other advanced data services through its
GPRS and Mobitex packet data networks. Details of the company are available
at .

Ifra, the world's leading association for media technology, is a service
organization dedicated to the publishing industry worldwide. Ifra members
comprise more than 2,000 publishing companies and publishing technology
suppliers in 70 countries. Ifra is based in Darmstadt (near Frankfurt),
Germany. For maximum member support, Ifra has 15 regional subsidiaries
including offices in Canada, India, Paris, Stockholm, Singapore and the United
Kingdom. The work of Ifra is monitored by a board of publishers from around
the world. The current president is Murdoch MacLennan, group managing director
of Associated Newspapers in London.

Newsplex is a laboratory for the College, which uses it for teaching,
academic conferences and research. The College is composed of the
School of Journalism and Mass Communications, with 1,500 students, and
the School of Library and Information Science, a graduate program with
nearly 500 students.

SOURCE Cingular Wireless
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