Mobile Journalism

Mojo Evaluation

I wrote my story on a woman that was refused to divorce her husband. Getting this story was not so difficult, as i was scrolling through newspapers looking for interesting stories and found this one.

Getting quotes was not so easy as many people did not want to be video recorded. Although i managed to get two interviews on video, the second video was not good as the person i was interviewing gave very short and brief answers. In addition, my first and only video interview had a lot of wind noise which i tried to blur out using a wind muff on my phone. However it did not help much, so i edited the video to reduce the wind sounds but the audio sounds quite different.

I felt this story needed the view of someone relevant, such as a solicitor. It was difficult to get in touch with one as many either did not answer their phones when i rang to talk to them or did not want to give their opinions on this topic.

Despite the challenges faced, after hours of phone calls and emails, my persistence payed off, as i managed to get a quote from a Solicitor about his views on the story. This helps give the story a more professional view as opposed to simply asking members of the public about their thoughts and feelings.

I also have an audio interview. Although there is the sound of a siren in the background, the interview lasted for over a minute, with the interviewee giving his full opinion on the subject. There is also a lot less wind in the audio so it is clearer. I also embedded strong tweets to add more multimedia to the story.

If i were to redo this story i would aim to get interviews from people in quieter places to avoid the wind.

I believe this story is suited for a publication such as the BBC, as the entire case itself is not based in Hull so it would not be suitable for the Hull daily mail. As well it is a topic that affects a very wide range of people.

Residents of Hull outraged as Woman is denied divorce

Senior judges refused a woman a divorce from her husband.

Tini Owens, 66, who has been married to her husband Hugh Owens for 40 years, attempted to overturn a ruling which said she could not divorce her husband.

The court denied Mrs Owens her appeal and refused her to divorce Mr Owens.

Residents in Hull were stunned that Mrs Owens was denied a divorce that she wanted.

Malcolm Carter, 61, from Hessle shares his views on the case:

Vlad Stavara, 26, from Hull also shares similar views, as he believes denying anyone their basic human rights is wrong:

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Mark Reeves, Head of Department at Gosschalks Solicitors said:

“The case of Mr and Mrs Owens is interesting and, at the same time, a little concerning.

“The concern is about where this leads to next and, at this stage, we don’t know. It may just be a ‘blip’ and everything will continue as before. It may, however, lead to more Respondents electing to defend the divorce proceedings, which will put a greater strain on an already overloaded court system.

Other people took to twitter to express their emotions on the court’s decision:

If her and her husband remain separated for more than five years, Mrs Owens will be able to divorce her husband.

MOJO (Mobile Journalism)

Mobile Journalism = When journalists use their mobile phones to tell news stories.

What You’ll Need

Student Mojo Kit

  1. Phone: This is what you’ll be using.
  2. Another Battery: Live tweeting, recording, editing and everything to do with mojo can drain the phone’s battery very easily. The Anker Astro Mini 3200mAh (the battery in the photo) is a good one to have on standby.
  3. Microphone & Extension Lead: This will help improve sound quality, which is very important, as it’s the key to good mojo. The Røde Smartlav+ (in the picture) were specifically made for smartphones.
  4. Input/Output Device: The Røde SC6 (in the picture) can help when you’re recording an interview with 2 people. You can plug two microphones in it and it acts as a splitter by recording both microphones at the same time and balance the sound nicely.
  5. Tripod mount: The Jobo Griptight (in the picture) can help capture great images and videos.
  6. Headphones/Earphones

Before You Start

Put Your Phone On Airplane Mode: This stops calls and pop up notifications (whatsapp messages, instagram notifications etc) which will be a distraction especially if you’re livestreaming.

Clean Your Lens: Dust can affect how your images come out.

Hold your phone horizontally so your phone’s home button is on the right hand-side: This prevents you from accidentally shooting upside down

Take A Second Each Time To Lock Focus And Exposure: Your phone can shift focus automatically, and that can make your shot look unsettled.

Make Sure You Have A Tripod: To keep your phone stable.

Before You Start A Livestream: 7 Things To Remember

1). Safety: Pay attention to your surroundings – things can change around you and that can easily cost you your life e.g you may forget to look on either side of the road and get his by a vehicle – many other things could happen.

NB: Also regarding safety, when livestreaming, turn off your location.

2). Privacy: Be mindful because you cannot just film and broadcast anyone walking on the street, as you’d need their consent to do that, especially if it’s a celebrity.

3). Ethics: Think about when to and when not to livestream e.g in a war, you don’t know what can happen next: someone might get shot and you as a journalist have just exposed viewers to such content.

4). Copyright: If you’re filming and music is playing in the background, you’re at great risk.

5). Trolling: Be prepared for it.

6). Reputational Risk: E.g you might start a livestream and inform viewers of something taking part near you like an event and find out the event has actually ended or was cancelled without your knowledge. You can easily lose their trust this way and damage your rep.

7). Emotional Trauma: Again going back to war, be careful where and when you livestream. You might livestream and show body parts of dead victims by mistake and because viewers weren’t expecting to see this, they might get traumatised.

Audio Tips

  • If you’re holding the phone in your hands during filming, make sure your hands aren’t blocking the microphone.
  • If you’re recording in a loud environment and have no external microphone, get some headphones – they can make a huge difference.

Before You Leave

  • When it comes to recording interviews, watch them back there and then on location.
  • Listen back to them while your interviewee is still standing in front of the camera and still might talk.
  • Check the audio and just check to make sure that the interview shot looks ok.