The creation of the cell phone has caused a revolution in the world of Journalism, known as Mobile Journalism (Mojo). Because the device has so many abilities like photos, videos, music, and more, journalists can use cell phones in all sorts of ways. With the convenience of these devices, journalists no longer have to wait for a camera crew to show up at the scene. If they are witnessing breaking news they can pull out their phones and take pictures, record videos, and update through social media. Since people usually always have their phones on them, more and more news is being spread and quickly through Mojo.
This video shows a perfect example of Mojo. The reporter is using her iPhone to report live at the airport where a plane had an emergency landing after airport police reported a hijacker of an Ethiopian airplanes plane. The quality is not like it would be with a whole camera crew, but it gives immediate information and covers the necessary information that people want to hear.
At the MojoCon held in Ireland, experts in mobile journalism discussed their experiences in the area. Sandra Sperber, a video reporter at Spiegel Online in Germany initiated a video project during the refugee crisis produced only with smartphones. Fifteen video reporters were sent all over Germany recording footage. Sperber said that the success of the mojo coverage was due to “keeping it simple”. Some of the reporters had little to no experience in mojo and only used one to two apps as their work continued to improve. She said, “We were impressed by how fast we could get all the footage from the field into our newsroom, so we then went on to adapt to a similar workflow into our news reports.”
Mojo stretches all over the world as far as South Africa. Viasen Soobramoney, mojo lead at Independent Media South Africa, attended MojoCon as well. He is responsible for establishing South Africa’s first mojo newsroom at Independent media, an organization known for being very print-oriented. He has trained around 300 journalists across newsrooms and produced over 2,500 video stories. Some advice he has for news organizations looking to get started in the mojo world is to “adopt a ‘show and tell’ approach” and to “give reporters the tools to practice, integrate mojo into their workflow- it shouldn’t be seen as more work for them”.
However, with all of these innovations, it is necessary to note the ethic and legal aspects of mobile journalism. In Mojo: The Mobile Journalism Handbook (How to Make Broadcast Videos With an iPhone or iPad) by Ivo Burum and Stephen Quinn, the need to understand privacy, defamation and trespass, and how to stay legally healthy in the world of mobile journalism. Burum and Quinn note that this constantly produced journalism involving social media, online, and mojo videos can cause issues. The speed at which they are produced and published intensifies these issues “because by the time we correct an error or apologize for an ethical breach, the story has probably moved on well past the point where those errors or breaches can ever be resolved.” So, mojo is something to utilize, but also be careful with.