Mobile Journalism is no longer a newbie in the fold. Serious media organizations, whether print based, audio or audio-visual genre, must think about convergence in order to match the demands of the profession. New entrant planning to go places must embrace this early so as to become the choice professional the industry now requires.
As part of its programme to equip and prepare next generation of media professionals in Nigeria and Africa, Africa Foundation For Young Media professionals in conjunction with Nigeria Grassroot News Online Newspaper organized a day workshop to strengthen capacity of tomorrow’s practitioners in the field. The two speakers at the event were Justina Asishana of ‘The Nations’ newspaper and Marvin Gakunyi of ‘Mobile Journalism Africa’.
Mobile journalism as we know is “a form of digital storytelling where the primary device used for creating and editing images, audio and video is a smartphone”. Justina Asishana while speaking affirmed a mobile Journalist is a professional who “shares story through smartphone”. To be effective, Justina affirmed “mobile journalism is as serious as other forms of journalism practice. So there is need for application of traditional news gathering methods even though there can be a level of adaption that must be done to get a balanced story done”’.
No matter what you do, always be conversant with tools like android phone that has good camera, microphone, small tripod, power bank, transfer and storage devices or apps.
Anyone who wants to make it to the top as mobile journalist must “always be prepared, know his/her equipment and ensures first few seconds of each story counst”, so says Justina Asishana.
On his part, Marvin Gakunyi hammered on professionalism and ethics of digital/mobile storytelling. To Marvin, “mobile journalist must understand it is unethical to use images, video of subjects without their permissions”. Beyond this, Marvin Gakunyi affirmed “mobile journalist must have and know his/her niche in story telling as storytelling art and act is huge. To be relevant, “always bring in your own angle”. Think Unique selling point, the angle you bring to the table in telling your news story.
This awareness will demand a high level of initiatives and research as well as content curation ability. In all, Marvin Gakunyi stressed a point many professionals often emphasised “No story is worth your life, you need to be alive to tell the story so you do not become the story itself”’.
The training has a cross section of participants which comprise of early career, young in Nairobi kenya as well as campus journlaists from Nigerian Universities as well as middle level journalists working with some Nigerian Radio and prints, A campus Journalist, Helen Ogbowu Okechukwu affirmed “thank you for this as it opened my eyes to new dimension”. Precious Akintulubo, an online TV host-PrettyhoreahTV, in her remarks thanked Africa Foundation For Young Media Professionals and Nigeria Grassroot News for putting the virtual workshop together. Dormene, a young Journalist with npress,comng wrote “Thank you Africa Foundation For Young Media Professionals and Nigeria Grassroot News for this insightful programme, I appreciate”. Elizabeth Angira, a multiple-award winning journalist from Nairobi Kenya said “best training ever, thank you”
While declaring open the virtual seminar, Yinka Olaito, The Managing editor of Nigeria Grassroot News as well as Executive Director Africa Foundation For Young Media professionals affirmed “upcoming media professionals must be fully equipped for the new challenges ahead. A deliberate investment will be required from every stakeholder and his organization is positioned to pay the price of a transformed media landscape across Africa”.
Yinka Olaito used the occasion to ask well-meaning media development organization’s funder to join hand with both the Nigeria Grassroot News and Africa Foundation For Young Media Professionals in this journey.
Busola Oladunjoye, acting programme lead of Africa Foundation For Young Media professionals closed the event with a charge to participants to follow the organization’s social tools for update of all the good initiatives that can help them.