Last Friday and Saturday the world’s first mobile journalism conference MojoCon took place in Dublin. MojoCon is the brainchild of Glen Mulcahy. Glen is Innovation Lead, Technology with RTÉ and has championed mobile journalism over the past 2 years. With mobile journalism he envisions journalists harnessing the potential of smartphones as content creation devices and sees mobile phones as the Swiss army knife of the modern journalist. Glen proposed the idea of a mobile journalism conference to his bosses, and they agreed to it.

The conference had great speakers, and it was hard to see all of them, as some clashed. The speakers I saw included the following:

Glen Mulcahy
Neal Augenstein
Richard Sambrook
Gerd Leonhard
Michael Rosenblum
Philip Bromwell
Mark Egan
Harriet Hadfield
Mark Little
Damien Mulley
Marc Settle
Jon Inge-Johansen
Florian Reichart
Priya Rajasekar
Paul Quigley
Hugh Linehan
Margaret E Ward
Will Goodbody

Each speaker had something unique to say but it all boiled down to one thing in the end which was how powerful a tool your mobile phone is and the main mobile phone used is the iPhone. Since the iPhone was launched in 2007 it has revolutionised mobile phones as well as journalism. The fact the best apps needed for Mojo are only available for the iPhone and the iPad makes it a must have when you are out in the field. Windows phones were barely mentioned as nobody is developing the apps for them and Android has a similar problem, though the developer of Filmic Pro announced at MojoCon that an Android version is in beta testing. Blackberry phones were not even mentioned with no apps developed for it.

A great example of mojo at its best was given by the Sky News reporter Harriet Hadfield who is based in Geneva. In February 2014 she got a phone call from Sky News around 4:30 am, and was told that an Ethiopian Airlines plane had been hijacked and was landing in Geneva. Harriet went to the airport and reported live from the airport using her iPhone and the Dejero+ app. Her iPhone allowed her to film and edit reports whilst out in the field, which are then sent onto Sky News for broadcast later.

Philip Bromwell, Florian Reichart, Jon Inge-Johansen, Marc Settle and Mark Egan gave a great talk on mobile journalism. They spoke about filming techniques and gave some great stories and examples of do’s and don’ts. Florian spoke about Android and Windows Phones. Philip showed us why he is the mojo champion of RTE. Marc recommended some of his favourite iPhone apps which you can read about later this week. Mark gave us some top tips in mobile and video journalism. Jon spoke about some of the filming techniques he uses and he also gave a masterclass later with Marc and Philip where we got to try filming outdoors.

Glen did a great talk on new tech with drones, Google Glass, 360 degree filming and Oculus Rift taking centre stage. Sadly because we were indoors we could not see the drone in action but we had the chance to see how 360 degree filming works. There was also the chance to try out Google Glass and Oculus Rift and this was an opportunity not to be missed.

Oculist RiftTec Dr trying out the Oculist Rift.

With companies like Streye opening up new opportunities for Google Glass, Glen thinks its death may be premature and he got Streye to show us how you can use their app Streye Live to start broadcasting to YouTube’s Live Events section.

The conference taught us the following:

  • Mojo has replaced “The old school wait and report the story” journalism, now the story is reported as it comes together.
  • Choose the best way to report each element, don’t duplicate any article already written by yourself or who you work for and just compliment it.
  • It’s nearly impossible to retract bad information.
  • Think twice before you Tweet.
  • When you are filming take a variety of shots at different angles and use lots of close-ups.
  • Know your limitations such as bad lighting.
  • When you zoom in, do so with your feet and not the zoom option on your phone

Matthias Sdun a German journalist at MojoCon collated a blog of the best tweets of the conference. You can read the blog here and you will also notice one of my tweets made it onto his blog.

The last words were left by Philip Bromwell, which you can see below and I am sure all the attendees will agree with them.

last word

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