A summary of an article by mobile journalism expert Wytse Wellinga produced for our Journalism Now e-learning platform on the best of 2018 and the year ahead.
2018 was the year of Unsane. The first movie shot on a smartphone that really caught people’s attention. Websites, magazines and newspapers all looked at it with amazement. How did director Steven Soderbergh do this with a phone? They probably didn’t realize it was not the first movie shot with an iPhone at all. Multiple pioneers have done what Soderbergh did, most notable Sean Baker in 2015 with Tangerine. But the famous Soderbergh did bring it to a broader audience in Hollywood and around the world. Shooting your story with a phone finally became widely accepted in 2018. And not just in film.
A few weeks ago BBC Television presenter David McClelland posted a link on the Mojofest Facebook Group about the Indian news Broadcaster NDTV. They decided to switch to a full mojo setup using just Samsung phones. And not just for reporting, but also for their studio setup. They followed in the footsteps of several other local TV stations around the world that switched their big professional cameras for iPhones in recent years.
You no longer have to convince people that the quality is good enough.
It is just another example of how quickly the use of mobile phones for professional video (and audio!) is growing. When you were in the field as a reporter a couple of years ago, working with your mobile phone would make you stand out. Now it is becoming very common and you no longer have to convince people that the quality is good enough. They know, because they have used it themselves! Another testimony of that growth is the fact that the MoJoFest Facebook group has hit 5000 members in 2018.
With all the new apps coming out, the field of Mobile Journalism has got a lot more competitive. More competition usually means the quality overall will improve. 2018 has proven that and I think 2019 might get even more interesting in the field of professional apps. This is where the biggest improvements will be. But I am also hoping the hardware will bring a bigger revolution then 2018 has been, because in that department it was a bit disappointing.
Looking back at 2018 there might not have been a big revolution in MoJo. But you can see that it has grown. Not just in numbers but also in professionally. The hardware and software have become more professional and the way we use them has become more professional. 2018 has been a year of evolution, not revolution. Some interesting things have come out in 2018 and some interesting things have been promised for 2019. It is hard to predict the future, but it is safe to say that we will continue to see growth.
Video and mobile journalism (mojo)
Dutch reporter Wytse Vellinga is a mobile journalism expert who specialises in training on android devices. He is a regular contributor to our e-learning platform Journalism Now.