That’s what multimedia guru Stephen Quinn believes. Quinn, who teaches at Deakin University in Australia, shared a bit of his enthusiasm about mobile journalism at the World Jounalism Education Conference in South Africa.
Quinn calls mobile phones a “Swiss army knife” option for journalists.
“They’re compact, light and discreet,” Quinn said. “Using cell phones forces journalists to think differently. This new notion of mobility changes the way you perceive and operate in the world. It’s all about connection. Reporting involves thinking about how to find wifi, you have to be thinking about battery power. And our concept of news is broadening – if I can get there, it’s news.”
Quinn says these new capabilities also change audience expectations.
“They know we can get there and expect to get the info,” Quinn says. Plus, he believes it will help us reach new audiences.
“Mojo appeals to different demos; it appeals to younger audiences,” says Quinn.
Quinn says mojo is part of a change in visual standards, too. He believes people become more accepting of low quality video, if the content is something they find compelling.
Quinn shared a list of free software programs that mojos can use in live reporting:
Quinn says his favorites are Qik and Bambuser for their ease of use. He also likes the relatively inexpensive tools created by Vericorder.
When it comes to its uses and limitations, Quinn says right now the technology has not evolved enough to make mojo useful for long-form journalism. However, Quinn says mojo is great for breaking news as evidenced by cell phone coverge of protests in Burma, elections in Iran, the Jakarta hotel bombings, Haiti quake and the Moscow subway bombings.
Still, Quinn urges journalists not to get all caught up in the “shiny.”
“Pocket journalism is powerful, but needs it still needs a brain behind it,” Quinn says.