Daily newspaper Prothom Alo is building the largest mobile journalism network in Bangladesh, with 184 journalists around the country trained to shoot, edit and publish content straight from their smartphones.
In Juy 2016, the publisher began to experiment with the new techniques, and found that mobile journalism (mojo) helped them increase the amount of video coverage they produced, while improving the speed at which they report on stories for their online daily audience of seven million readers.
Jamil Khan, mobile journalism specialist at Prothom Alo, was hired by the news organisation to train reporters, and has so-far held workshops in Bogra, Khulna, Sylhet and Chittagong.
"We're now using mobile journalism to re-shape our news channel, encouraging our reporters all over the country to produce audio-visual content for social audiences," he said.
"I'm really impressed at how they are all doing so far – they are all so enthusiastic. It's just a case of practising and continuing to use their new skills out in the field."
The reporters, who predominantly use the more affordable Android devices, have been posting content to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, as well as the publisher's main site, which is the most visited newspaper website in Bangladesh.
Popular apps Filmic Pro and Kinemaster are used to shoot and edit content, while WeTransfer is used by the team to send video files from out in the field.
Its reporters based in remote and coastal areas of Bangladesh have found mojo helps them work more efficiently.
"If I couldn't take my laptop out with me on a shoot, I used to have to come back to office to edit videos and file to Dhaka – it took too much time," said Neamot Ullah.
"Now I can write stories, shoot videos and take from wherever I am – on a boat, in a paddy field or even on the go. You don’t even need an expensive Android phone for this, just a change in attitude."
The publisher is even developing its own mobile journalism handbook, for distribution among all the reporters to refer back to when gathering, producing and publishing news reports.
Fifty smartphones have been provided by Prothom Alo, but at the moment, explained Khan, most journalists are using their own devices.
"The only tripods we have are our hands," Khan joked, noting that the publisher hopes to be able to kit out reporters with more advanced tools soon.
"It's all developing for us as time goes on, and we're even making our own version of the BBC's PNg app, called 'Palo report', so our journalists can easily file the stories from the field and quickly send material to each other – watch this space."
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