Mobile journalism on tour

Mobile journalism went "on tour" with Thomson Foundation, delivering training sessions to 90 journalists in 90 days for international broadcaster, Al Jazeera.

The channel was keen for its staff to make mobile journalism (mojo) – using a smartphone to record and edit video and audio – a primary newsgathering and production tool.

The foundation's long-standing mojo trainer, Glen Mulcahy, delivered 11 courses at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar and broadcast centres in Kuala Lumpur, Gaziantep in Turkey, Sarajevo, Washington and London.

Courses ran for up to five days and covered a mixture of theory, demonstrations, practical exercises and feedback sessions.

Glen covered best practice for capturing images, ensuring high-quality audio and explored podcasting. Crucial to the programme was ensuring journalists could produce good-quality video at speed to satisfy broadcast deadlines. They were also required to spend two of the days working as a team to film and edit a news report.

"I was conscious that I was speaking predominantly to professional television journalists," he said.

"The course was designed to inform them of the evolution of the practice of mojo, with notable examples, and then proceed to the core learning.

"I was truly blown away by the talent of the trainees and advised many of them to submit their images to some of the big international smartphone photography events."

"The course was designed to inform them of the evolution of the practice of mojo, and then proceed to the core learning."

Glen Mulcahy, Thomson Foundation mobile journalism trainer

Glen began teaching mobile journalism as a Thomson Foundation trainer at the Al Jazeera Media Institute in Qatar in 2013.

The technique was initially seen by the broadcaster as suitable for online storytelling and covering conflict and breaking news.

Now it is considering the technology for use across all its platforms in all formats and how it could be fully integrated into workflows.

Thomson Foundation has been working with the Al Jazeera Media Institute since 2004 and runs an average 15 to 20 workshops a year, covering a wide range of subjects from TV reporting, newsroom management and social media newsgathering to TV presenting.

Mobile journalism has now become one of its most popular courses.


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