With almost half of adults now using social media for news in the UK, according to Ofcom’s latest news consumption report, news organisations need to be thinking about how to cater for this growing audience.
One way to do that is with high-quality, mobile-first content. If you are looking to get started, four mobile journalists and trainers shared their best tips and tricks for producing simple yet effective stories.
Mobile journalism instructor Robb Montgomery said that to get the perfect visual shot for your next mojo piece, one technique to master is filming sequences as he demonstrates in the video below.
"It allows you to move your camera between different positions to get shots that connect together quite easily to tell that part of the story."
Bernhard Lill, freelance journalist and digital journalism trainer, explained that having clear audio is also a must for any mobile journalism piece.
There are a range of different microphones to help, he said, including wireless microphones to allow for free-moving piece-to-camera shots.
"In a number of situations, the in-built microphone of your smartphone doesn’t suffice. Fortunately, there are a number of external microphones for different scenarios," he said.
Wytse Vellinga, mobile storyteller for the Dutch broadcaster Omrop Fryslân, said that one of the great things about being a mobile journalist is that you are always ready to shoot a story whenever you find one.
That is why he advises that you should always have a basic mojo kit to hand wherever you go.
"Before working with a mobile phone, it was always the case that I ran into the best stories when I had no equipment with me, and because of that I lost the story," he said.
By having just three lightweight pieces of kit - a microphone, a light and a smartphone grip - he is able to grab stories in the moment, like the one below.
"I literally walked into the store and ten minutes later I had walked out again and produced a radio, TV and online story with hardly any equipment," he explained.
But there is one additional item kept in his arsenal in case of emergency that you might not expect - duct tape.
"Is your cable broken? Duct tape can fix that. Is the tripod broken? Just duct tape your phone to anything to make that into a tripod," he explained.
"It might sound silly but in the broadcasting world, duct tape is essential and in the mojo world, it comes in handy too."
Importantly, this rule of always having a contingency plan also applies to technology.
"You might have an interview lined up with some VIP and then an app doesn’t want to open. That’s why it is crucial to have a Plan B - and that Plan B is to have a second app that does the same thing.
"I have FilmicPro on my phone to record all my video, but when that fails I also have MoviePro on there, and in some cases it has really saved the day."
So now that you know how to film your mobile journalism piece, how can you take that content and present it for social media?
In this video, social media specialist and former BBC journalist Sue Llewellyn shows off some of her best advice for showing off your mojo pieces on Instagram.
She stressed the importance of being able to take photos that will stand out on the platform and then use template apps such as Mojo and Unfold to turn these shots into eye-catching Instagram Stories.
"If you want your stories to be lifted a bit and look more professional - and don't overdo it because otherwise it can look inauthentic sometimes - templates can take content to a whole new level," she said.
Want more tips and techniques? Sign up for the online mojo course with Robb Montgomery, starting 1 September 2019. And if you are in London, join us at the Newsrewired conference where Caroline Scott will be showing small newsrooms and publishers how to up their mobile journalism game on 26 November. Book your place now
Free daily newsletter
- Documenting India's migrant crisis with smartphones and bicycles
- World News Day: seven stand-out pieces of journalism in 2020
- How did you get your first job at a weekly newspaper?
- Tip: Five steps to become a mobile journalism wizard
- Cassius Rayner, iPhone filmmaker, on staying creative during covid-19