The Indian mobile journalist Umashankar Singh reports with his smartphone from the UN in New York City.
The Indian mobile journalist Umashankar Singh reports with his smartphone from the UN in New York City.
Umashankar Singh (NDTV) is reportimg from the UN in New York City — with a smartphone. (Screenshot)

How to get started with Mobile Journalism

Reporting live from a demonstration, filming an interview and editing the footage on the way back to your office, doing an Insta story for your local news outlet: mobile journalism (mojo) means that you’re producing journalistic stories on the go, mainly with a smartphone. Here’s (almost) all you need to know to become a mobile journalist

1. Story comes first, first, first.

2. Tools come second: the smartphone

3. The best apps to start with

You can easily lock focus and exposure in the iPhone’s camera app by holding your finger on the display. Photo: B.Lill
You can easily lock focus and exposure in the iPhone’s camera app by holding your finger on the display. Photo: B.Lill
You can lock focus and exposure in the iPhone’s camera app by holding your finger on the display. Photo: B. Lill
This way, you can lock focus and exposure within the Pixel 3 a’s  native camera app. Foto: © Bernhard Lill
This way, you can lock focus and exposure within the Pixel 3 a’s  native camera app. Foto: © Bernhard Lill
This way, you can lock focus and exposure within the Pixel 3 a’s native camera app. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
You can easily lock focus and exposure in the ProMode of the Samsung S8. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
You can easily lock focus and exposure in the ProMode of the Samsung S8. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
You can lock focus and exposure in the ProMode of the Samsung S 8. Photo: © Bernhard Lill

4. External microphones for every purpose

Watch the video above and listen how different microphones sound with the iPhone 11.
Watch the video above and listen to the Røde Wireless Go.
Watch the video above and learn how you can use the Røde Wireless Go as a handheld mic.
he Android app Open Camera lets you choose external microphones for audio input. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
he Android app Open Camera lets you choose external microphones for audio input. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
The Android app Open Camera lets you choose external microphones for audio input. Photo: © Bernhard Lill

5. Equipment you can really use — or make yourself

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NDR reporter Björn Staschen is practising mojo — with the help of a street sign. Photo: © B. Staschen
The Spanish Company Shoulderpod produces sturdy Smartphone equipment: here the R2. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
The Spanish Company Shoulderpod produces sturdy Smartphone equipment: here the R2. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
Shoulderpod R2. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
The Spanish Company Shoulderpod produces sturdy Smartphone equipment: here the Pro Rig. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
The Spanish Company Shoulderpod produces sturdy Smartphone equipment: here the Pro Rig. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
Shoulderpod Pro Rig. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
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One of Joby’s many Gorillapod tripods. Photo: © Bernhard Lill
Bernhard Lill: with a rubber band and a bottle you can improvise a smartphone rig and make your videos more stable.
Bernhard Lill: with a rubber band and a bottle you can improvise a smartphone rig and make your videos more stable.
Be inventive: Build your own smartphone tripod with a bottle and a rubber band. Photo: © Bernhard Lill

6. Other resources

Written by

Bernhard Lill: journalist and trainer. Does digital storytelling, mobile journalism & social media | ex radio journo and magazine reporter | ex BBC, NDR, Stern

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