Hacks, tips and tricks for mobile journalists

Posted January 10, 2017
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It used to be that getting quality equipment was a major hurdle to getting into video production or video journalism. With the introduction of smartphones with HD video capabilities, all of a sudden a majority of people had a broadcast quality video camera at their disposal.  This led to an explostion in video journalism and mobile journalism (mojo).

While more people are now able to produce video, as we know well here at, it is not as simple as picking up the phone and starting to shoot video. There are some techniques and rules to learn about video production to ensure that you produce a quality product.

Whether you are doing video journalism or any other kind of video production with a smartphone, these are some good tips to keep in mind.

The list touches on gear, techniques and tips for operating in the field.

From  for

Producing high-quality material with a smartphone is now easier than ever, but new equipment comes with its own challenges, not to mention an entirely different workflow.

So if you're new to shooting, editing and publishing videos and audio with your mobile, or simply looking to hear how you can improve your workflow, check out this advice crowdsourced from mobile journalism professionals on Twitter and Facebook.

Developing your workflow

There is an abundance of apps available on the market that help mobile journalists (mojos) shoot, edit and produce engaging material for broadcast and online audiences, but with so many choices that do so many things, where do you begin?

Glen Mulcahy, head of innovation, RTÉ, told us that mobile journalists should start out with a great visual story, where you've thought through your video in sequences.

Doing this will ensure you remember to take all the clips you'll need, without getting flustered during the shoot – especially useful if you are short on time.

To do this, you'll need to consider where your content will be published, explained BBC mojo trainer Marc Settle. Different social platforms require different video styles, formats and lengths, so it's vital to think ahead in order to make your editing process much easier.

"Film with the content's destination in mind – the visual grammar of a piece shot for TV won't work so well for online or social," he said.

Not only do journalists have to consider the platform they are producing for, it's also vital to consider the needs of the audience – would they benefit from a polished, highly edited piece, or is it more important to sacrifice the tiny edits for faster publication?

Mojo filming essentials

Regardless of how different your workflow is when shooting with a mobile phone, basic filming rules still apply, such as ensuring your shots are correctly framed and you capture more material than you need in the final edit.

Get creative

It's essential to remember that using a mobile phone gives journalists a huge amount of creative freedom. Firstly, smartphone apps can be used to produce content in a range of formats and styles that are traditionally created on post production editing suites, such as Final Cut Pro or Premiere Pro.

Read the full article here.


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