Showcasing the world’s best mobile journalism talent


The Thomson Foundation mobile journalism competition is a leading showcase for mobile journalism (‘mojo’) talent, in partnership with Mojofest.

This competition is currently closed. We look forward to reopening it soon.

This challenge is all about learning and doing. Participants must take part in, and complete, a combination of online courses on mobile journalism and then make a film entirely on a smartphone.

It’s a rigorous competition and by the end, participants will be required to produce a video portrait of a change maker in their community.


The learning

The competition is a great opportunity to build and develop your video production and storytelling skills. Entrants will follow step by step exercises under the guidance of the foundation's finest trainers and mentors. You will be required to learn to use a mobile phone to:

* Capture quality images and video * Capture quality audio

* Film a video interview * Edit video * Tell a story using video

* Capture and express emotion through image and video


The team

Mobile journalism expert, Glen Mulcahy will be your host. He will be joined by photojournalist and artist Laura Tantawi and Yusuf and Sumaiya Omar from Hashtag Our Stories.



Glen Mulcahy

Founder of Mojofest, a celebration of content creators, and Thomson Foundation's resident mobile journalism expert



Sumaiya Omar

Co-founder of social video company, Hashtag Our Stories and Thomson Foundation social media contributor



Yusuf Omar

Joint winner of the 2016 Thomson Foundation mojo competition and co-founder of Hashtag Our Stories



Laura Tantawy

Prize-winning British/Egyptian documentary and news photographer based in London and Cairo



The requirements


In order to take part in the competition, you will need to complete four specific assignments, one each week throughout March 2020. These will include the following tasks:

* Participate in our global photowalk and share with us your top photos

* Create and share two video sequences * Record and share an interview

* Create and publish a video story on a change-making member of your community

The competition includes taking part in and producing e-learning content, interactive lives and feedback with our experts, peer to peer interaction, as well as submitting video work.


The way to win

Participants will be scored for a mixture of work completed in the duration of the competition and the final film produced. Judges will consider the following criteria:

* Your submissions (50%)

Your successful completion of at least one of the mojo courses available: (30%)

Your feedback and engagement with your peers (20%)



The programme

Week one

Telling stories with images
Join our global photowalk, learn how to take good photographs and share your best


Week two

Storytelling and video sequences
Use your image-capturing skills to create powerful videos


Week three

Video interviews and audio
Get close to your subject and share their voice


Week four

Editing and publishing
Bring it all together and tell amazing stories


Previous winners


2019 winner

Last year’s winner is Mostafa Darwish, a visual journalist from Egypt. A smartphone was the only way for Mostafa to shoot as he boarded a congested Cairo train to report on the sharp fare increases to an inadequate metro system, leaving millions of already struggling residents angered.



2018 winner

Ecuadorian journalist, Gisella Rojas Rodriguez, highlighted the struggles of the people of the “migrant bus” travelling through Mexico in search of a better life. It was the first film she had shot and edited entirely on her smartphone. 



2017 winner

Somali blogger Farah Abdi staged an overnight vigil outside government offices in Malta to film the plight of refugees sleeping rough to renew their ID cards. Her story won a change in regulations. She lives in Europe having fled Africa due to fear of persecution because of her transgender identity.



2016 winner

Yusuf Omar used mojo to produce a moving report on the nightmare of sexual violence in South Africa using Snapchat filters to film open and honest interviews with rape survivors. He continues his mojo work as the co-founder of Hashtag our Stories, which aims to empower local communities.



2016 winner

Armed with an iPhone and a hard hat, Spanish journalist, Leonor Suárez, went inside the silver mines of Potosí, Bolivia for her mojo story. As the tunnels grew darker and more claustrophobic, the air harder to breathe, Leonor reported on the harsh, life-threatening working conditions of miners.




2015 winner

Torera Idowu gave a moving first-hand account from the Lagos slum of Makoko as part of her entry. Despite never having recorded with a mobile device before, her short film shot on an iPad 3, highlighting Africa’s education woes, beat entries from much more seasoned journalists.



Terms, help and questions

For any queries relating to your entry for the Thomson Foundation mobile journalism competition, please email:

The small print:

  • The competition is open to entrants aged 18 or over.
  • The winner is responsible for ensuring they are able to accept the prize as set out and in accordance with these terms and conditions. In the event they are unable to do so, then Thomson Foundation reserves the right to select another winner.
  • Only one entry per person. Entries on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed.
  • Thomson Foundation accepts no responsibility for entries that are delayed or incomplete or cannot be delivered or entered for any technical or other reason.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into by the judges in relation to that decisionThe decision of the judges over every instance relating to the judging process and selection shall be final and unchallengeable.
  • The closing date of the competition is 11.59pm (UK time) on 30 March, 2020 (deadline to sign up is 15 March, 2020). Entries received outside this time period will not be considered.
  • The prize is subject to a successful visa application and the Mojofest event going ahead, and is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and not redeemable for cash or other prizes.
  • The winner may be required to take part in promotional activity related to the competition and shall participate in such activity on Thomson Foundation’s reasonable request. The winner will consent to the use by Thomson Foundation of the winner’s images, name and voice for publicity purposes (in any medium, including still photographs and videos, online, including the websites hosted by Thomson Foundation), and in marketing and promotional material.
  • Thomson Foundation will take care of any personal information supplied to it as described in its privacy policy, and in accordance with data protection legislation. By entering the competition, you agree to the collection, retention, usage and distribution of your personal information in order to process and contact you about your competition entry, and for the purposes outlined in the above bullet point.
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