Tag Archives: london

#march26

29 Mar

Mojos used Twitter to report on the March 26 protests

Saturday 26 March saw a fresh wave of protests through the UK as swarms of people hit the county’s cities in order to fight against the cuts. The event once again provided mobile journalists with the opportunity to report from the ‘front line’, using the #march26 hash tag on Twitter in order to keep followers up to date with the latest developments as the protesters swarmed through the capital.

Anyone following #march26 was able to see exactly where the protesters were, what they were doing and what action was being taken against them by the authorities. Not only does this sort of mobile journalism provide the outside world with a unique insight into the protests, without actually having to be there, it enables a number of journalists to voice their opinions on the events of the day, something which is not usually possible when writing an article for a publication.

Reporting through Twitter sees a new generation of would-be mobile journalists commenting and reporting on breaking news events and, in this particular case, it was the siege on high-end department store Fortnum & Mason that drew the most attention.

As protesters forced their way into the famous Fortnums, both journalists and participants tweeted to the outside world, while following the tweets of those caught up in the violence taking place beyond the gilded walls of the UK Uncut Fortnums protest.

Protesters and passersby posted photos online, showing the utter chaos that many of the protests had descended into. News that the Oxford Circus Topshop was being vandalised by a particularly furious group of protesters sparked debate on Twitter between those who felt such extreme action was necessary and those who believed that the violence overshadowed the real issue behind the protests.

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Twestival 2011

20 Mar

Photo courtesy of Twestival 2011

On Thursday 24 March, local Twestivals (Twitter Festivals) will be held in numerous cities across the globe. From small meetings in pubs and restaurants to large scale sposnored events, the local Twestivals provide mobile journalists and social media lovers with a chance to come together and interact offline, while raising money for charity.

The events, which are run entirely by volunteers, are aimed at bringing together social media gurus at an offline event that focuses on grassroots funding for a particular cause. Since 2009, Twestival has raised nearly $1.2million for over 130 different causes, demonstrating clearly the power of internet-based media.

While Twestival, which originated in London in 2009, is primarily a social media event,  it will provide mobile journalists with an opportunity to connect with other like-minded people, learn more about social media and its uses in journalism and make incredibly valuable journalistic contacts.

For more information about this year’s Twestival and for details about how to purchase tickets go to www.twestival.com

What does a mobile journalist need?

1 Dec

While there is a huge variety of technology available  to any budding mojo, the cost of ensuring that you have every piece of equipment out there is unbelievably high. We have therefore compiled a list of ‘must-haves’ for any mobile journalist looking to report up-to-date news from a variety of locations.

Hardware

  • A smartphone with a camera/the capability to record video/a contract that allows you to send unlimited texts, make many phonecalls and with an unlimited data package
  • A small digital camcorder e.g. a Flip or Kodak Zx5
  • A digital dictaphone
  • Digital camera – while this may not always be entirely necessary, particularly if you have a high quality camera on your phone, they often take much better photos
  • Spoffle – a foam cover that can be placed over any microphone to reduce the amount of ‘crackling’ on the recording. These are available for smartphones that have voice recorders e.g. the iPhone
  • Spare batteries
  • A small portable tripod for your camera e.g. a GorillaPod
  • The ever trusty notebook and pen – always remember a spare pen
  • Small laptop or netbook with a dongle

Software

  • Apps for your smartphone/laptop that allow you to keep in constant contact through email, a blog, Twitter or other social media
  • TweetDeck
  • HootSuite
  • iBlogger
  • WordPress for iPhone
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Maps
  • Skype
  • A back-up email account – occasionally Google Mail or Hotmail will stop working and you should have a back-up ready
  • YouTube account

Each mojo will have their own preferences about what to take out with them while reporting. It is always wise to ensure that you have a list of contact phone numbers should you need to get in touch with your editor/colleague and I would personally always recommend taking out some form of food and drink – you never know where you may end up and for how long.

For more ideas on equipment for the mojo see;

Online Journalism Blog

Notes from the Field

No quiet riot as mobiles help showcase protest to the world

12 Nov

Yesterday’s student demonstration in London made clear precisely how pivotal mobile technology now is for modern journalism.

In days gone by we would have heard real-time information about the protest and the ensuing rioting via the radio. Whatever the presenter told us was exactly what we would have believed. For a visual handle you’d have to wait until the evening news, whereby you’d see some footage and hear a reporter explaining the event based either on what they had witnessed, or the sources they chose to speak to. Essentially the coverage of an event involving hoards of people over a vast space would have been conveyed via very limited pairs of eyes and ears.

Images were uploaded onto Flickr by mobile journalists such as Sarah Noorbakhsh

Nowadays this form of reporting has taken a kick to the teeth. We, as the absorbing public, demand speed, efficiency, accuracy and engagement as prerequisites. Yesterday we were able to watch a new breed of reporting in perfect motion, as eyewitnesses posted minute-by-minute information on Twitter, and photographers uploaded via Flickr. Sky News’ Kay Burley, who made several slapdash reporting bloopers, could have learned a thing or two from the would-be journalists on the streets. Continue reading