Mobilizing the News

The concept has been around for a while now, but recently the concept of Mobile Journalism has been increasingly familiar and used. Mobile Journalism is a form of media storytelling from the use of a portable electronic device. The device must have Internet connection and be able to collect, edit, and share media. Most commonly used is the smartphone, and this concept has been increasingly popular amongst the millennials. The reporters who utilize this form of journalism are often called “Mojos.” With the advancements of technology and the increase in social media and multiple apps, this form of reporting has come at significant ease which is why it is increasingly popular over the past few years.


One of the key components to mobile journalism is the fact that it can be broadcasted live. Through live streaming sites like Periscope or Facebook Live, journalists can report the exact moment something is happening. This is also a really important feature because broadcasting through non-traditional media outlets reaches people who wouldn’t usually see that content. For instance, live streaming on Facebook Live has the potential to reach a large portion of the Facebook community. People who wouldn’t normally check a news site or channel could have access to the stream and information.


There are some differences between mainstream traditional media and this fairly new concept of mobile journalism. Sometimes, there are no tripods or anything to aid in the filming of something. As the saying goes, it is a “one-man show.” It can be difficult for a person to film and keep the camera stable. Therefore reporters must practice holding the camera still, or utilize some techniques to help stabilize their arm.


There are also cool attachments that can be added to portable devices that can help enhance the picture or change it in some way. There can be clarity lenses, or night time lenses that could help with filming during the night time. These attachments are extremely useful because although there are many benefits to a “one-man show” and using a portable device, there is no one to sit there with a professional camera and film so it comes out perfect. Attachments are easy to carry, and easy to attach on.


The difference in using a portable device is that it is not necessarily tailored towards reporting needs. When reporting, it is probable that there will be a lot of background noise or some sort of commotion. Whereas traditional reporting, someone usually has some sort of microphone to speak into and make it easier to understand, portable devices only have a built in microphone. In order to cancel out some of the background noise and be able to speak into the device clearly, reporters might have to use headphones with built in microphones to help filter out the other noises.

Mobile journalism is also great for getting right into the action. The use of a small device and being only one person allows the reporter to set up the device in a variety of different ways to get different shots. He or she can alter the angle of the shot and do so with a lot of ease since they do not have to move an entire camera set up. In addition, it is a lot easier for a journalist to get closer to a scene when all they have is them self and a hand-held device. As a Mojo, fellow Mojo Bjorn Staschen has some helpful tips.


As Far As I Can See

Stories can be told verbally, over a text message, or posted online- but each method is different in the way the story comes across to the receiver. Visualization tools are a key component to telling stories in a digital environment. When reading, it has hard for a person to decipher the context of a message, or to understand completely what the writer is saying. It could be just because readers do not know their tone of voice, or maybe the reader just is not understanding. That is where visualization tools are extremely helpful in conveying stories.


Images and videos are highly useful when telling stories. If a journalist is trying to explain something that is not so easy to understand, videos and images can help a person see what is trying it to be explained. They allow people to put a face, place, moment or color, to the story being told. Not only are they useful in trying to help people visualize things and understand, but they also bring personality to the story. Images and videos do not necessarily have to be serious. They can be humorous or sad. Images and videos can help people connect with a story and bring about their emotions. For the Syrian war, images and videos play a vital role in portraying easts going on in Syria. They use it to connect with people and appeal to their emotions. Without images and videos, it would be much harder for a person to feel sensitivity towards a topic from just typed words.

Programs like ThingLink allow users to create interactive images and videos. Content can have different links within a picture and different features. These links are interactive and can lead readers to thing such as websites and places to purchase or product information.

Riddle is another program that allows people to create interactive content. This content is slightly different because it is in the form of quizzes, polls, and lists. This keeps readers engaged. It allows them to think about the content they are seeing. Depending on the topic, the interactive content can be tailored towards the reader and be something that they can relate to themselves.


Timelines are another key visual aid that can be beneficial to people. When describing events, reading things in long paragraphs can be hard to keep things organized. The implementation of a timeline can summarize the main points chronologically and make it easy for the reader to see an order of events.


Charts and graphs are perfect for representing data. When reading about things that have a lot of hard, statistical data, it might just seem like a bunch of numbers. Charts give people a visual idea so they can compare. For example, if an article were giving information about the comparisons of the ages for the males and females who live in the United States, a chart would make it easier to understand the components, and it would take unnecessary time for the reader to write it out to understand it.


Maps are good visual aids to add to stories as well. When talking about locations, it is a good idea to show where something is in the world. People generally want to see where they are in relation to the topic at hand. Its also important because if an article were to be talking about different places, reader will probably want to see the distance and location of the two locations being discussed. It would take time for a reader to have to look up something on a map or on their electronic devices, something that writers do not want their readers to have to stop and do.


There are a lot of different visual representations that can be used to tell a story. The type of story will often depend on the content used. However, it is still important to find some type of aid that will enhance your story. Readers want to see personality. They want to relate. Most of all, they want to thoroughly understand what the author is talking about. Visual aids fill in the void for when verbal communication and body language is not readily available.


Spreading the Wanderlust Word

Social media is a powerful communicative tool, with different platforms in many different areas. For instance, Snapchat is used for quick photo sharing, twitter- for quick thoughts and updates, Instagram- for permanent photo sharing, and Facebook- for all of those things put together. There are a plethora of social media platforms that can be used for all different reasons.


These platforms are especially useful for people who have a desire to travel to different places. Snapchat is extremely helpful because in their Discover section, they have several different types of articles. Amongst those articles users are often able to find commentary that pertains to travel and activity in those places like hiking, beaches, shopping, food, and several other things that pertain to those cultures. When sending friends and family snaps or posting things to a “snap story”, people have the ability to use geotags which show the location of the picture or the 10 second video.

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Instagram is another tool that is utilized for photo and short video sharing. As opposed to Snapchat, Instagram is more permanent. Posts are there forever, unless the post or account is deleted. This platform has cool editing feature that can enhance photos, and allows people to post videos up to 60 seconds long. From a traveler’s perspective, Instagram is a great tool because they can tag the location of their content and create captions. It’s very interactive with followers because people can comment on your content and you can reply to them with a like or comment. This helps people who are interested in going places because of Instagram’s easy search tab. Travelers can look up hashtags of places, locations, foods, etc. They can type in specifically what they are looking for and they are bound to find something relative to their search. For instance, if someone is interested in Morocco, they can hashtag Morocco and see the different things that come up.


Youtube is another great platform that allows people to share much longer video content. On this site, people can create videos that document their entire vacation. Videos can have layers of music and pictures turned into a collage. It could also be a video montage of all the different activities the person did on their travels.

Twitter and Facebook are other useful platforms that are excellent for video and picture sharing, but are also good for information sharing. For travelers, this is beneficial because they can get similar photo experiences like they do from other social media platforms and information in addition to it. For example, a person can follow a touring company’s Facebook or Twitter to see updates about promotions, new excursions, and  any other information the company were to post. It makes it easier for people to see this information because the user doesn’t have to go through search engines or other third parties to find information. These two platforms also have direct messaging which a lot of companies utilize. It is a lot quicker than emailing a company and having to wait for a response, as most companies will have employees responding to direct messages pretty quickly throughout the day.

All of these platforms give travelers a preview of their next destination. This previewed content makes their travel easier, so that they can pick the places that they want to go to and plan it out. Not only do all these social media platforms benefit people looking to travel, but it benefits the expert travelers who want to share their experiences and work with the world. For some, social media can turn into a career where users get paid for the professional content they post. These people are often called “influencers”.

Social media has made communication and sharing significantly easier. In a way, all these platforms are digital journals. They tell stories. Here in Barcelona, I am embarking on my own travel endeavors. I decided to create an Instagram account dedicated to my travels where I will post as often as I want. As a traveler, I find this platform useful for my own entertainment and in a sharing sense. Creating a new Instagram account allowed me to keep it open to the public, and provide a place for my family and friends to see my journeys.


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