Mobile journalism is one of the most exciting and fastest-developing areas of journalism. In fact, there are so many new apps, phones and techniques it is hard to keep up.
To help bridge the gap of knowledge, communications professional Len Clark and 22-time Emmy winner Mike Castellucci have created a new approach to learning that allows reporters to keep up to date without spending money on new textbooks.
Aimed at students and working professionals, Create with Mobile is a deck of 52 cards plus two jokers which feature tips and techniques to enhance smartphone journalism skills. Instead of long pieces of text, the cards have a dynamic QR code that constantly updates content with the latest tips on mobile storytelling.
"We first wanted to make sure they were tactile cards that students and professionals could actually hold," says Mike Castellucci.
"We figured that since we all hold our phone in our hands and we use it as our production company, that holding a similar sized manual would be fitting."
The cards feature advice from 'MoJo' aces like Glen Mulcahy, Marc Blank-Settle, Ann Charles, Leonor Suárez, Caroline Scott and around 30 more professionals. Among the cards, you will also find seven sponsors, ranging from app developers to equipment providers, with affiliate links that help finance the project through purchases.
As these are playing cards, suit ranking matters, at least to some extent. For starters, Clark and Castellucci are both on high cards.
"But we also gave Glen Mulcahy - the 'godfather' of mobile journalism - an ace because he is one, and Marc Blank-Settle the joker, because it just 'suits' him," jokes Clark.
In future editions - and as a way to generate more revenue for the project - sponsors may be invited to bid on cards. So if someone wants to be the ace of spades, they will need to be the highest bidder.
"We never really thought that someone might want to be a certain card until requests started coming in," Castellucci adds. "We were able to honour some folks but obviously there can’t be 52 aces!"
The creators also thought about diversity, making sure that more than half of the featured experts are women, excluding the eight cards reserved for Clark and Castellucci, and the sponsored cards.
The mobile journalism content ranges from technical tips to storytelling techniques, MoJo hacks and philosophies, and five cards are dedicated to Castellucci's Storytelling Method.
Clark said this was not just a one-off project. The duo's longterm goal is to create an institute to serve as a global beacon for everything mobile journalism.
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