mojo tripod iphone
Credit: Image from Pixabay

Journalists at Finnish TV channel MTV3 have been using mobile journalism (mojo) techniques to produce video packages for the evening TV news bulletins, as well as the media outlets' website and social media accounts.

Raija Kantomaa, lead mobile journalist at MTV News, brought the skills to the news organisation after attending training two years ago at a senior editor's recommendation.

"We knew that journalists needed to become more digital-savvy for the future, and I wanted to make sure we were ahead of the curve," she said.

MTV3 is a Finnish commercial TV channel which, along with a variety of other broadcast output, produces daily bulletins from MTV News.

“At MTV News we have a small team, so mobile journalism can help us connect with our audience and produce news faster.”

Kantomaa now produces both television news packages and social content for MTV News on her iPhone 6S Plus, working on the news organisation's Mediadesk, alongside journalists who use traditional television cameras.

"I’ve started to train our staff in some of the storytelling formats that can be produced with iPhones, for online and television news, ranging from live video to working with still images.

"My aim is to find the best ways to report on events as they happen and send stories straight back to the newsroom – or publish them directly to our webpage or social accounts ourselves," she said.

Two months ago, editors at MTV News made Kantomaa the only full-time mobile journalist in the organisation. In her new role, she aims to teach reporters to film, edit and publish videos themselves using their mobile phones, as well as to engage audiences on as many platforms as possible.

"Our other journalists try to use basic mojo skills to produce material for the website when they're out in the field, as they all have iPhones.

"But if they are short on time, they will publish quick videos within the Twitter app, do a Facebook Live, or post images to social media to get material out,” she said.

"Everyone is slowly coming around to the idea of doing mobile journalism, and step by step, we are getting there."

MTV3's news team broadcasts TV bulletins in the morning and at 7pm and 10pm each day, but its focus is on producing material for social media and particularly for Facebook, as the organisation has found the social network to be a useful platform for directing traffic back to its website.

This has involved testing new forms of storytelling for Facebook Live, predominately livestreaming as news breaks, as well as experimenting with 360-degree video on YouTube.

“I use iMovie to edit and Filmic Pro and Movie Pro to film for the stabilisation feature, as well as the Sennheiser wireless microphone – everything I need is in my pocket,” she said.

“For example, I was sent to cover a court case by myself with just a phone, while our national TV channel had four journalists with big cameras there wondering if they had enough people to cover it.

“I shot the footage I needed, recorded my voiceover in the toilet, and I left the scene with the story published – we were the fastest."

Kantomaa's editor doesn't just assign her breaking news but also stories that would be awkward for a large camera crew to produce – for example, she went underground into the pipework in Helsinki.

“Our audience and staff have been amazed at the quality. At first, we didn’t tell staff outside of the Mediadesk that we were producing our footage on our iPhones, and they didn’t realise,” she said.

“I think there could be a day when we do everything on our phones, but for now, we just need to change people’s perceptions, and that’s what we are trying to do.”

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