Journalists have a more challenging job in today’s world than they have ever had before. Most modern journalists would classify themselves as mobile journalists, abbreviated as ‘mojo’.
In the past, journalists had to know how to write well, collect data, interview, organize data, interpret basic statistics, take quality pictures and the like. Today, mobile journalists have the same responsibilities but they must also have audio-video skills and must understand the latest apps and technology.
Mobile journalism involves using whatever means are necessary to create the best possible visual story. Journalist Ivo Burum defines mobile journalism as “a combination of digital storytelling skills and tools used to capture and transform raw user-generated content (UGC) into complete user-generated stories (UGS).”
The mobile journalist can decide for himself whether or not he prefers an IOs smart device or an Android for capturing still photography, videos or other media content. The Android is more affordable while the IPhone devices have had better video editing apps over the years.
Burum also notes that pixel size is important in determining how much light is captured in pictures. He recommends mobile journalists buy a smartphone with at least a 12-megapixel camera.
Mobile journalists can use one of three types of microphones: shotgun microphones, lapel microphones, and wireless microphones.
Shotgun microphones are used for close quarter filming, lapel (lav.) microphones are ideal for recording interviews, and wireless microphones are used for long distance shots.
Several apps on smartphones and IPhone have the functionality of video cameras so as to enable mobile journalists to capture quality pictures and videos. Filmic Pro is the most used video camera app with features such as white balancing, focusing, and real-time audio monitoring. Camera + is an ideal app for capturing still photography. Its features include white balancing, focusing, and color/brightness settings.
Sound apps such as Ferrite and Rode Record are essential for mobile journalists who want to capture voice overs. Video editing apps are also used by mobile journalists. IMovie and Luma Fusion are two video editing apps compatible with Iphones while Kinemaster works for Androids as well.
Mobile journalists can be classified according to their skill and knowledge of the field. The MOJO pyramid classifies mobile journalists as generalists, specialists or VJs.
Generalists, at the bottom of the pyramid, make up a good portion of mobile journalists.
Specialists are more professionally skilled than generalists. They tend to produce one story form with dedicated gear.
VJs comprise the top of the pyramid and are in the minority of mobile journalists. They are highly skilled field reporters who use specialized gear to complete the toughest assignments. They can shoot, edit, interview, produce, and file data using any gear they have on their possession.
Mobile journalism is the future of journalism. Therefore, understanding how to use modern technology and apps is crucial for modern journalists.