Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Journalism

November 29, 2018 4 min read

Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Journalism

What is Mobile Journalism?

As you are probably well aware, your smartphone is a pretty powerful tool. With all of the capabilities of a computer, TV, digital camera and high definition video camera, smartphones give you much of the same power as an entire news van filled with reporters, technicians and equipment. This relatively recent development has given rise to a new kind of journalism called mobile journalism, or MoJo for short.

Mobile journalism can best be defined as journalism that can be done from start to finish on a mobile device, often by a single individual. A mobile journalist can tell a story from beginning to end, handling every step along the way - filming, photographing, writing, editing, broadcasting, publishing - completely independently. The word “mobile” thus refers both to the use of mobile phones, and to the journalists newfound ability to be mobile and autonomous.

What are the Benefits of MoJo?

Should you consider becoming a mobile journalist? Well, that’s fully up to you. But ask yourself first: do you consider yourself a journalist? Do you enjoy reporting and sharing stories with your community, or your city, or the rest of the world? If you answered yes, then ask yourself this: What is holding you back? If it’s reasons related to finances or accessibility to journalistic tools and equipment, then you should consider mobile journalism. Take a look at the many many benefits of becoming a mobile journalist:

  • It’s Affordable. When you add up the costs of all the heavy duty equipment that’s needed to be a journalist, it can start to get very expensive. Being able to capture high-quality pictures, video and audio with your phone without any additional cost is a huge money-saver. Even with added costs of supplementary apps and equipment, it’s still a much cheaper way to tell a story.
  • It’s Flexible. Taking away all of the heavy duty equipment, in addition to the team needed to operate it all, means you’ll be much more flexible. You won’t be held back by a van filled with cameras and other people - it’ll just be you and your phone. You can move at your own pace, going wherever you want, whenever you want, without being held back.
  • It’s Empowering. With all that newfound flexibility and mobility comes independence. Working on your own means you get the freedom to choose what story you want to tell. Your phone empowers you to control every aspect of production, meaning you get the opportunity to make your voice heard.
  • It’s Discreet. Reporting a story can mean having to go places where you’re not wanted. Oftentimes, a large camera and camera crew will have trouble getting access to specific locations, events or venues, but you can take your mobile phone with you virtually anywhere you go.
  • It’s Safer. Journalism can be a risky business. Whether it’s covering a natural disaster or reporting from a war zone, covering a story can be dangerous. Doing it from a mobile device can allow you to be more mobile, and to not draw attention to yourself when in these riskier situations.

What Gear do I need to be a Mobile Journalist?

If you think mobile journalism is for you, you’ll probably need some solid gear to help you out. Having a functioning smartphone is the obvious and important first step. Take a look at some gear that will help to enhance your storytelling experience:

Movo PR-1 Smartphone Video Rig w/Shoe + Tripod Mount

This smartphone video rig is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in mobile journalism: it’s essential, simple, and inexpensive. Every mobile journalist needs a smartphone video rig that will help with stabilizing and shooting quality video. With it’s easy to grip padded handle and adjustable wrist strap, the MOVO PR-1 is allows you to shoot videos comfortably for an extended period of time. Its universal design also means that it works with any smartphone.

Movo PR-2-PM Smartphone Video Kit (Rig with Shotgun Microphone, Grip Handle, & Wrist Strap)

If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, the MOVO PR-2-PM Smartphone Video Kit gives you a few more tools to go with your smartphone rig. In addition to the rig, this kit comes with a shotgun microphone and furry windscreen, allowing you to couple high quality audio with your videos.

Saramonic Ultimate Smartphone Video Kit (with Dual Stereo Microphones, Audio Mixer, LED Light & Stabilizing Rig)

The Saramonic Ultimate Smartphone Video Kit brings your audio and video quality to the next level. This kit comes with a two channel, professional audio mixer that fits on both iPhone and Android smartphones and is capable of capturing high quality audio. Additionally, it comes with a stackable light with 54 high-powered LEDs, to ensure that you can capture high-quality and well-lit videos in any conditions.

PowerCore Speed 20000

Imagine being this close to capturing an awesome video and getting that first big scoop...only for your phone to die. It’s important to keep your phone charged at all times, but even then, batteries don’t last all that long. You’ll want to make sure you always have a portable charger with you. The Anker PowerCore has up to seven full charges on it, and its lightweight and compact composition allow you to stick it in your bag and take it with you anywhere.

Movo WMB-2 Smartphone Dual Handheld Microphone System

If you’ll be doing mobile journalism, chances are you’ll need high quality, wireless microphones. This set gives you two wireless microphones that provide you with crystal clear sound for up to 330 feet, and is compatible with any smartphone. Perfect for interviews or any work in the field, and an important part of any mobile journalist’s kit.

Becoming a mobile journalist isn’t easy work, but with a bit of effort, there’s room for anyone to make a path for themselves. Learning the basics and finding yourself some quality gear are a big first step to having you on your way to being a mobile journalist. For more history on mobile journalism, tips, and apps to use, read our full guide here. Good luck!  


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