The Age of Mobile Journalism

Journalists no longer need to be published in a magazine, newspaper, or on the radio and television in order to spread information. There is a new journalistic practice that allows reporters to send their message directly from the scene of the event or anywhere they choose straight to viewers, all with minimal technology.This journalistic practice is called mobile journalism or “mojo” for short, and is being increasingly utilized by reporters across the world. Mobile handset devices have been developed to make this possible and are capable of “…portable digital media production and data transfer systems with configurations of features such as still and video camera capabilities, multimedia file swapping, global positioning satellite receivers, music players” and even more (1). Smartphones can manage these things as well with the download of appropriate applications. Mobile journalists can report news updates from anywhere around the world, at any time. Mobile journalism allows for a more flexible communication of updates and events since news rooms and entire production crews are not needed to effectively spread the information (1).

For mobile journalists who are working with a phone, there are some techniques that they must follow in order to create a credible and effective piece. According to the Missouri School of Journalism, there are five basic execution tips that, if followed, can lead to a piece that is enjoyable to watch. Even though mobile journalism is considered a less structured way to produce news pieces, there are still guidelines that reporters need to follow regarding camera angles, microphone usage, light and stabilization.

From the article “Five mobile journalism basics” by Judd Slivka

Mobile journalism has been described as a way for reporters to get “closer to the story” as stated in an article about the up and coming journalistic style. In the article attached in the tweet below, Geertje Algera, a mobile journalist at Geertje Algera Media explains the benefits of mobile journalism. Algera mentions how the absence of bigger cameras, entire crews and logistical planning leads to more raw and quickly delivered news update. Algera also brings up the fact that mobile journalism allows for less intrusive, more personal interviews of people. Now, the story can be produced from purely the journalist and subject of interest’s interaction, and not be affected by any intimidating cameras, newsroom sets or large crews. To read the full story about what this mobile journalism professional has to say, click below:

With the rise of mobile journalism, journalists must have knowledge of this practice and the skills to “…gather news with mobile devices, use them to interact with the social media audience, and how to format content appropriately for the medium” (2). Researchers collected more than 700 job postings from TV and newspaper companies in the United States and found that most of the positions require these skills in order to be considered for hire (2). Students who are studying to become journalists also must learn a whole new set of skills compared to those who were studying journalism before.

The rise in mobile journalism makes it so that important news updates can be spread across the world, even if a news room or camera crew are not available at the scene. This rather spontaneous and versatile way of communicating news makes it so that more real and less staged interviews can be shown, breaking news can be reported, and voices can be heard.

Sources:

  1. Cameron, David. “Mobile journalism: A snapshot of current research and practice.” Artigo consultado a 19.04 (2009): 2011.
  2. Wenger, Debora, Lynn Owens, and Patricia Thompson. “Help wanted: Mobile journalism skills required by top US news companies.” Electronic News 8.2 (2014): 138-149.
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