The first book I penned on mobile journalism was Smartphone Media Production. The subtitle was “A media revolution for everyone”, that was back in 2015, published in 2016. I was inspired by the rapid change in technology that now allowed everyone access to powerful media production and distribution. However, with the rapid change in technology unfortunately this did not come with rapid change in knowledge.
When I was at university studying my HNC in Media Analysis and Production then my BA in Broadcast Production. I realised that the technology, that kept the power in the hands of the media monopoly was changing. The media revolution began with the internet and continued when the mobile phone finally amalgamated almost every piece of mobile tech worth carrying. No longer did one need to carry a separate dictaphone, camera, video camera, microphone, laptop, mobile internet modem and an assortment of connecting cables to cover or produce media. The internet revolution gave everyone access to distribution channels, now everyone with good content and a story could potentially grab the attention of the masses. The large media corporations could be mimicked by anyone with a phone. However, the main difference and the main defining difference now that mobile capture, production and distribution technology is almost completely democratised is knowledge. Knowledge of journalism, of media production and marketing. This is why I wrote my books, to share the knowledge.
Why mobile journalism is important?
Mobile Journalism is important for a number of reasons, firstly it democratises journalism and allows everyone the tools to enter the field. Second, it allows journalists to react quickly to any situation, allowing them to capture images, video or broadcast live. Anytime and anyplace.
Due to these two reasons, anyone with a smartphone (Either Android or iPhone) can react to an event as it unfolds. The major difference between mobile journalism and journalism is a journalist in employment will generally have studied Journalism. Which encompasses the theory of video capture, editing and production, photography, graphics, live streaming, broadcasting, presenting, writing skills, article composition etc And they will know how to use the phone’s extensive technology and features to maximise these.
What are the core journalism skills?
Knowledge of the English language (or native tongue)
How to tell a story.
Knowledge of media production and communication. (This is what my books cover)
Attention to details.
The ability to accept criticism.
The ability to work under pressure.
The ability to step beyond personal bias and report the facts objectively.
What is citizen journalism examples?
Citizen journalism is everywhere, it is the term given to someone reporting the news or events who are not in the pay of one of the large corporate news entities. Citizen journalism is the live feed from a protest or the updates about road closure on a local Facebook group or social media platform, or documentation of an unlawful act broadcast on YouTube. Mobile journalism from citizens is increasingly making its way to the TV, including local reports. Everyone now has a powerful broadcast studio hidden in their pocket, they just need to learn how to use it.
What can be done with just a phone?
All major broadcast companies like the BBC, CNN, SKY etc rely on mobile journalism as a part of their daily broadcast. Especially now in a Covid/post covid world, more and more interviews, and live broadcasts are being broadcast from smartphones. You have a studio in your pocket buy my book and learn how to use it.
Mobile journalism advantages and disadvantages
Advantages – Easy access, equipment is always with you, can edit on the go, can broadcast live on the go, can edit images on the go.
Disadvantages – As it is accessible to everyone (ie citizen journalism). The main disadvantage is a lack of knowledge. This is seen time and time again in shaky video stories with horrendous audio. News stories that waffle, have no substance or completely bias.
Mobile journalism equipment
A copy of Smartphone Smart Marketing and a Smartphone (Android device or Apple) is really the only two-bits of equipment you really need. In my book, I cover everything you would need to know from how to frame shots, to video editing, accessories and more. But in brief, a great setup would include a microphone (external microphone or external mic), a gimbal, a tripod, light and the internet.
Mobile journalism apps
There are many apps for mobile journalism, the key is learning how to use them. The main skills employed by a modern journalist in the filed is video and live video broadcast. Both rely on an understanding of video production theory and how to tell a story.
Filmic Pro is the best app for capturing professional video on a smartphone, due to the options it makes available to the user. However, most of the time the native camera app is just fine. Once the video has been captured a video editing app like Kinemaster, YouCut or Luma fusion can be used to edit the footage. I have more information about all aspects of video production in my book Smartphone Smart Marketing.
Mobile journalism ideas and tips
The story comes first
Learn how to frame a shot
Learn how to communicate effectively
Do everything with passion
Pay attention to details.
Good audio is king.
Know your audience.
Engage with them.
No1 tip for mobile journalism
Buy a copy of Smartphone Smart Marketing and learn the theory of what makes a good video, images, live broadcasts. Get a degree in Broadcast Production for the price of a book and you will be one step closer to being the best mobile journalist you can be.