By Sakhile Dube
The technological future is already here but it is not evenly distributed, with more machines connected to the internet than people, and technology challenging journalists to no longer conform to one role. Electronic devices allow them to publish their work anywhere – anytime.
The words of Steve Kromberg, Director and Trainer of Social Weaver, who presented a teach-in on Mobile journalism, which is an emerging form of new media storytelling. This was part of the 31 August – 1 September Highway Africa-SACOMM conference in Grahamstown.
Reporters use portable electronic devices with network connectivity to gather, edit and distribute news from various places, Kromberg said, and electronic devices have become more powerful by the month and now even entry-to mid-range devices are capable of shooting and editing good quality multimedia content.
Mobile journalism allow journalists to produce compelling content that is put together and has a strong message/narrative. This kind of content can be produced anywhere and at anytime using mobile devices which can help media organisations become more successful and effective in their reporting. Kromberg talked about journalist’s need to know their analytics – who they are reaching and what content their audiences like.
He also touched on the many useful mobile apps and toolkit for journalists, adding that “all this power the phone has is actually from people.” He said a mobile spy app can be used for tracking people. Mobile monetisation is fast becoming an attractive option for media organisations to deploy their mobile-apps in the marketplace.
Kromberg also talked about using Facebook that is moving ahead with plans to let people subscribe to publications through Instant Articles. Media organisations should soon be able to use business models such as native advertising, donor funding and crown funding – which AmaBhungane is already using.
A Mojo Tool Kit for journalists includes a power bank; smartphone; a mike; headphones; a tripod or gorilla grip; a clip-on-lens and lighting.
* Sakhile Dube was reporting for Open Source, the Highway Africa publication