Much has been written about the benefits of mobile journalism. In fact, maybe even too much, as getting your head around myriad new apps, equipment and techniques is increasingly difficult.
To help you out with everything from grasping the basics of filming and shooting to editing and publishing videos from your smartphone, mobile filmmaker and academic Robb Montgomery has just released a new book 'Mobile Journalism'. We caught up with him to chat about all things MoJo.
Who is your new book for?
‘Mobile Journalism’ is for media educators and students, as well as journalists who are looking for up-to-date guidance on how to better use their smartphones in their everyday reporting. Readers can also register for free access to the complementary website with case studies, videos and downloadable resources, plus the latest tech and apps.
How is the book structured?
The 12 chapters cover the tools and techniques for reporting in video, audio, photography and graphics. The book focuses on the evergreen techniques that are adapted for the smartphone-toting reporter.
This means that it can enjoy a long shelf life, because the fundamentals for producing professional stories are analogue and have not been made redundant with mobile technology.
Courtesy SmartFilm School
Who else worked on this book?
The book highlights the powerful contributions made by women journalists.
I also invited a few colleagues to share their expertise and backstage stories. One of them is Leonor Suárez, a Spanish TV journalist who was forced to adapt to full-time mojo to produce her long-form documentary stories during the pandemic. She shares the details about her workflows as part of a team.
Another one is BBC TV presenter Ros Atkins, who shares the behind-the-scenes reporting and on-camera script prep for one of the most memorable stories of the year.
Can you share some top mojo tips with our readers?
The most important thing is to know is how to get the best quality out of your phone under all conditions. My checklist includes entering aeroplane mode, wiping the lens clear, using a tripod whenever possible, and always testing your external mic with a test video clip before going out on a story. This VIP checklist will help a reporter avoid the most common (and unfixable) mistakes they can make in the field.
Are there still any MoJo-sceptics?
When I first lectured on mobile journalism back in 2007, I was showing chief editors that the smartphone was the most powerful reporter's notebook ever invented. Back then, the camera on the iPhone 1 was its weakest feature. Today, the modern iPhone's strongest feature is the camera.
Media execs did not care about mobile reporting. They were more interested in bringing their existing digital and broadcast content over to mobile phones.
Today there is a different vibe. I am working with some of the largest media organisations in the world to train their entire staff in mobile journalism as a core skill.
That is the evolution I have seen with my education partners and journalism schools. Media professors are teaching MoJo as if it were 'News Writing 101', because it is.
This book is designed to support those teachers and their students to realise the full reporting potential of their mobile devices.
Where can we find it?
‘Mobile Journalism’ is published by Visual Editors, NFP and is available in the following formats:
Apple Books (Illustrated)
Kindle reader (E-reader)
If you want to learn more about smartphone journalism and start creating your own videos, join Robb Montgomery at the Mobile Journalism masterclass