Semester 2-Mobile journalism

Our first session of the semester gave us an introduction to Mobile Journalism. We looked at some of the apps that will be useful and also equipment.


Some ideas of kit needed.

(The cat is not compulsory)


My Kit so far!

I also have some of the suggested apps, plenty of data and I’ve freed up the storage and added a 32gb SD card.

Here are some of the advantages of Mojo taken from “Mojo: from periphery to mainstream of journalism” By Hosam El Nagar, May 2016

Mobile journalism is much more than a cheaper way to produce video content on the go:

  • It overcomes barriers, gets close to the subject and gives the journalist unique and special access
  • It can survive disasters – a camera and a satellite news gathering system in your pocket on which you can film, edit, transmit, and go live from anywhere.
  • It provides new possibilities – enabling wider coverage potential at low cost
  • Mojo makes it easy and viable to offer more specialised niche coverage to smaller audiences

Some Useful Tips

  • Make sure you have enough power
  • Clean your lens.
  • Hold your phone horizontally so your phone’s home button is on the right hand side.
  • Get close to the subject which will also result in better audio if using the phone’s internal microphone.
  • Film a variety of shots and different angles.
  • Check the audio and make sure that the interview shot looks ok whilst still on location.
  • Start by putting your phone in airplane mode – this stops calls and app notifications coming through and interfering with your reporting, particularly if you’re live streaming.
  • Take a second each time to lock focus and exposure as your phone is likely to shift focus automatically mid-shot.
  • Make sure your shot is stable. Interlock arms if no tripod available.

The resources available for MoJo are limitless and particularly abundant on Twitter. I have already spent a lot of time looking at various sites, news, feeds, reports and people and as a result have started following more members of the MoJo community.

The RTÉ International Mobile Journalism & VR Conference , 4-6 May 2017 in Galway, Ireland looks like a great opportunity but is rather pricey.

There has also been a conference in Paris this month which I would have liked to have attended .

I also discovered the world’s first television channel to produce news entirely with a smartphone; the local TV channel of Geneva, Léman Bleu.


‘Gonzo’ Journalism

Bill Cardoso, an American writer and editor, coined the slang word “Gonzo” to brand the off-the-wall and over-the-top journalism of  Hunter S. Thompson. “Gonzo” sprang to life after  Cardoso read  Thompson’s seminal sport’s article “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,”in 1970. The raw disorder, odd humor and piercing insight  became Mr. Thompson’s trademarks.

I looked up some definitions of the word and found some interesting results:

  • of, relating to, or being a style of journalism marked by a lack of objectivity due to the writer’s immersion in the subject and often participation in the activity being documented.
  • (of journalism) explicitly including the writer’s feelings at the time of witnessing the events or undergoing the experiences written about.
  • extreme, unconventional, or bizarre: gonzo artwork; a gonzo snowboarding style.
  • a wild or crazy person.
  • when it comes to pornography the term ‘Gonzo’ porn took the storyline out of adult movies and headed straight for the sex. No longer would the pornoholic have to fast forward through 10 minutes of inept dialog to get 5 minutes of sex. They got sex throughout the whole video.

Other names for gonzo journalism are outlaw journalism, new journalism, alternative journalism and literary cubism.

This is also a form of Immersive Journalim but from the perspective of the reporter being immersed in the story/events he is writing about as opposed to the reader.

Some examples of  reporters who have become part of the community they are reporting on include Louis Theroux, Stacey Dooley and Reggie Yates. I also discovered a French Journalist, Florence Aubenas who signed on the unemployment register for a firsthand experience of the job seeker’s life.