Do you have a smart-phone with a reliable internet connection? Congratulations, you too could become a mobile journalist!
Mojo offers ways for people to become more digitally literate and powerful across a wide range of media. Citizens can become empowered to live and work in more digitally literate communities and environments. (Burum & Quinn 2015, p11)
The benefits for the general public are clear, they are empowered and given a voice through the use of their smartphones.
Viasen Soobramoney from Independent Media South Africa has the opinion that all journalists should and will become mobile journalists. Soobramoney, who was behind the first mojo newsroom in South Africa, explained that changing the opinions of those in a traditional newsroom was initially challenging- but it’s something that needs to be embraced to cope with the changing landscape (Scott 2016).
Logistically, mojo newsrooms are seeing the benefit of their simplicity and cost-effectiveness. Mojo’s are recording and editing content in a much quicker amount of time- essentially cutting out the middle man. They don’t have to worry about expensive cameras and recording technology, or setting up bulky equipment, organising large crews, or travelling back to the newsroom to file and edit footage- it can now be done by one journalist, all on the one device.
Check out how one Teacher is inspiring her students through the use of MOJO:
A heart-warming tale from South Africa- Journalist Allissa Richardson set up a MOJO lab in South Africa, teaching 10 HIV-positive young women how to film and edit their own content on iPod’s:
In the worlds of the Zulu Princesses that I taught, many of the girls were trapped instead in cycles of violence, self-doubt and the urge to cry out — even when no one was listening. Then, along came the digital age, and a tiny device gave them a voice. (Richardson 2012, p24)
So it all sounds pretty positive- what’s the problem then?
Despite this technology being accessible to just about anyone, we can’t forget the fact that just because you can do something- doesn’t mean you should. Burum and Quinn (2015, p.12) explain that in the hands of an amateur- it would simply result in rubbish, useless content.
Another issue is that quality can potentially be compromised in an effort to get the content recorded and online as quickly as possible to break the news first. Burum and Quinn (2015, p.18) explain that this is not much of a concern; audiences will be happy to put up with something of average quality, if the topic itself is interesting and newsworthy.
Burum, I, Quinn, S 2015, MOJO: The Mobile Journalism Handbook : How to Make Broadcast Videos with an iPhone or iPad, Focal Press, Burlington, MA.
Scott, C 2016, ‘How mobile journalism is rising in popularity with journalists around the world’, Journalism.co.uk, weblog post, 29 April, retrieved 18 August 2016, < https://www.journalism.co.uk/news/how-mobile-journalism-is-rising-in-popularity-around-the-world/s2/a633170/ >
Allissa Richardson’s MOJO Lab 2012, YouTube, Bryant and Allissa Richardson, 28 November, retrieved 18 August 2016, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd2yJpekVhU >
Richardson, A 2012,’Mobile Journalism: a model for the future’, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 21 June, p24, retrieved 18 August 2016, Vol. 29 Issue 10, Academic OneFile