Mobile journalism

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Mobile Journalism

Mobile journalism involves the use of small, connected devices such as smartphones and tablets to produce and edit audio, video, photos and multimedia stories for online and social platforms and for radio and .

Due to a growing range of apps for multimedia content creation and editing on a smartphone, these devices can be used to produce and edit TV-style video news packages, social videos, live video and audio broadcasts, news and feature photography, photo-driven multimedia, and documentary films.

Often referred to as "mojo", the reporting techniques and storytelling ethics for mobile journalism descend from best practices of video journalism, radio reporting and photo journalism.

Early adopters of mobile journalism have been journalists who typically come from backgrounds in broadcast, news wire services, or photo journalism and are accustomed to reporting, producing, editing, writing, and transmitting multimedia reports without a production crew.

This approach to reporting enables the journalist to be nimble and report from breaking news scenes in real-time and either share their reports to their newsrooms or directly with audiences.

[1]Mobile journalists are often the first-responders for crisis reporting (Like Claas Weinmann of

Mobile journalism allows field reporters and media organizations to reach new audiences by lowering the cost for multimedia story production. Iterative improvements to smartphone cameras and available apps mean that it is now possible for mobile video stories to be broadcast on television in 4K UHD and even be screened at international film festivals that feature digital cinema projectors.

Mobile journalists working at a news scene often don’t attract the same level of security attention as a traditional film crew, because much of their work is made with small, ubiquitous consumer devices.

Filming with the wide-angle lenses found on smartphones forces journalists to be closer to interview subjects. Video interviews and reporter piece-to-camera segments can feel more intimate.

These factors contribute to a style that favors immersion, improvisation and personality-driven pieces.

[2] The term mojo has been in use since 2005, originating at the Fort Myers News-Press and then gaining popularity throughout the Gannett newspaper chain in the United States.[3]

Some key benefits of mobile journalism in comparison to conventional methods include affordability, portability, discretion, approachability, and the ease of access for beginners[4].


In 2007 a mobile journalist from Die Welt newspaper (Germany) filed daily podcast and photo reports from a sailboat that was racing in the trans-ocean race known as the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. She used a mobile satellite phone to transmit the multimedia reports and the newspaper published the reports online to gain an exclusive in their coverage of the event.

[5]It took several hours each day to upload the material to the Iridium satellite network that rings the Earth's equator.

An early experiment[edit]

First instance of mobile journalism
The first instance of mobile journalism recorded is from wearable technology pioneer Steve Mann using a wearable camera he made on Feb. 2, 1995.

One of the first instance of mobile journalism recorded is from wearable technology pioneer Steve Mann as a feature in a personal visual assistant in he designed, he identified himself as a roving reporter. [6]

In the beginning, he faced concerns from the press about privacy. He responded by writing on The Tech of MIT on July 24, 1996 a guest column "Wearcam Helps Address Privacy Issue". In the column, he stated that he was wearing his experimental eye glass to bring awareness to the huge and growing number of surveillance cameras that were watching over citizen's activities. He also stated in the article that he "exercises deference to others, " many of the photos he took were "architecture details, experiments in light and shade, posed shots done at the request of those in the picture". [7]

There is a growing number of annual mobile journalism conferences, including VideoMobile in France, and Mojofest in Ireland. Mojofest is held in association with RTE, the national public broadcaster of Ireland.

Editors at AJ+, a digital outlet form Al Jazeera, have used mobile journalists in their video news coverage [1][8]

See also[edit]

Published Books[edit]

  • Stassen, Bjorn; Vellinga, Wytse (2018). Mobile Storytelling. Hamburg: Amazon.


  1. ^ "This is what Mobile Journalism looks like today - World News Publishing Focus by WAN-IFRA". Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  2. ^ Marymont, Kate (10 February 2006). "How They Did It: Fort Myers' "mojo" journalists search out news at the neighborhood level, identify community contributors". Gannett News Watch. Retrieved 22 May 2008.
  3. ^ Martyn, Peter H (1 April 2009). "The Mojo in the Third Millenium: Is multimedia journalism affecting the news we see?". Journalism Practice. 3 (2): 196–215. doi:10.1080/17512780802681264. Retrieved 27 Feb 2009.
  4. ^ Podger, Corinne. "Benefits of going 'mojo'". Mobile Journalism Manual: The Guide for Reporters and Newsrooms.
  5. ^ Klempert, Oliver (2007-11-22). "ARC 2007: Bei der größten Transozean-Regatta der Welt". DIE WELT. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  6. ^ "Joi Ito's Moblogging, Blogmapping and Moblogmapping related resources as of 1/18/2003 18:00". Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  7. ^ "Wearcam Helps Address Privacy Issue - The Tech". Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  8. ^ "How AJ+ reported from Baltimore using only mobile phones". Poynter. Retrieved 2018-09-03.