Understanding mobile journalism

How do you define mobile journalism? And what can you actually produce with a smartphone?

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Benefits of going ‘mojo’

Smartphones put a complete production studio for radio, television, text and social content in your pocket. Here are some of the reasons to start your mobile journalism journey.

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Managing smartphone limitations

The video from a smartphone camera can be almost identical in quality to a professional TV camera or DSLR – but there are some challenges to keep in mind.

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Why newsrooms should adopt mobile journalism

Smartphones make high-quality audio and video affordable for any newsroom. So why aren’t they used universally?

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What equipment do you need?

Simple equipment will give you professional mojo results. Here are suggestions for your kit bag.

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Recommended apps

Lots of apps will be mentioned in this Manual. Here is the full list – plus a few extras we think you’ll enjoy – with download and tutorial links.

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Finding a story and location

‘Mobile journalism’ is still journalism. Apps and kit aren’t enough – you need a story worth telling. How do you find one and how should you prepare to film it?

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Shot types and angles

If you are a newcomer to visual storytelling, you’ll need to master some simple shots that are at the heart of all good video journalism.

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Sequencing and storyboards

Once you have mastered basic shot types and angles, it’s time to learn to create shot sequences to support your visual narrative.

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Frames and composition

Get inspiration from professional story artists and photographers and see how they create powerful visuals by thinking in advance of framing and composition.

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Going beyond journalism: mojo films

Smartphones are revolutionising all forms of video storytelling, including films and documentaries. Here are some of our favourite examples to inspire your own creativity.

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Preparing for the shoot

Capturing great video journalism starts long before you hit ‘record’. Here’s what you need to prepare for a filming job to get the best results.

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Native camera vs. external apps

The native camera on most smartphones produces high quality footage, but you will get better results with a third-party app. Here are some recommendations.

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All about audio

Poor quality audio can ruin a video story. When you are preparing to film, keep the following tips in mind.

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Lighten it up

Smartphone cameras need good light to perform well. Here are tips for getting the best results.

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Editing video, the simple way

When it comes to creating simple, engaging videos for social platforms and websites, there are literally dozens of apps to choose from. Here are some of our top recommendations.

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Professional multi-track editing

If you need a full multi-track video editor that can add and mix multiple interviews and overlay, and add music, a logo and captions, we recommend the following professional apps that provide all necessary functions.

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Adding titles, captions and logos

When you finish editing your video, you might want to add titles, captions and a logo to give your work a professional appearance. Here are some apps to help you achieve that.

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Adding music

Music is a great way to add emotion and impact to a video. But where can you find royalty-free music online?

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Editing for television workflows

Television news packages follow a relatively similar formula for duration, format and style. Here is how to approach the editing process.

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What’s different about social videos

Video stories that aren’t going on television have tremendous flexibility in format, duration and style. Make sure you use strong footage to keep your audience watching – and be creative!

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Social app production tools

Social media platforms are more than a place to post your stories. Did you know the mobile apps for these platforms also offer content production tools?

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Integrating video editing with desktop systems

Can your production process be ‘pure mojo’ or do you need to transfer your work to a computer to prepare it for publication?

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Managing workflows on Android

In 2017, iPhones accounted for less than 15 percent of the global smartphone market. So what is different in your ‘mojo life’ if you’re part of the global majority on Android?

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Why go live with your smartphone?

Producing live video used to be extremely expensive. Now, anyone can do it, as long as you have a smartphone and a good internet connection. But why should you do it? And when is it better to go with a pre-recorded video?

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How to go live with your smartphone

How should you prepare for a live broadcast on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? What equipment do you need, and how should you manage your live workflow?

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The mobile storytelling community

Thousands of journalists around the world already use smartphones to create content, and there are various online forums and events where you can get updates on apps, equipment and workflow, and share your work.

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Mobile journalism reading resources

If you enjoyed working with this Manual as a starting point for your mobile journalism journey, here are more resources to continue your learning.

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Training in mobile journalism

This Manual provides general guidance for getting started in mobile journalism. For advanced training and advice on apps, smartphone choice and newsroom workflows, we’re here to help.

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Mojo Manual – all the tutorials

Lots of tutorials are mentioned in this Manual. We’ve listed them all below.

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Check-list: Preparing for your shoot

The check-list below brings together all the tips from this Manual on preparing for a shoot.

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Check-list: Out in the field

The check-list below brings together all the tips in this Manual to keep in mind while shooting your story. 

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