The idea behind Mobile Journalism Africa gave birth to this platform 5 years ago today, 18th January 2023. What started as a Moi University students initiative is now an established entity with notable footprints and functions. We have trained journalists and storyteller to document, edit and publish stories on their smartphones. We have gone to remote areas and equiped farmers, students and locals with skills to tell their own stories. We have been build relationships with organizations that share in our mission, To Equip Young Storytellers In Africa With Skills They Can Use To Tell Stories Using Their Smartphones.
We have traveled, learnt, taught, told stories, verified news and created a boardless community of mobile storytellers.
The tool to tell our own stories has more capabilities than when we started and as we celebrate every partner, contributer and community here are some of the emerging trends to stay abreast with;
Licensing of Mobile Journalists
One of the key milestones we have witnessed is the acknowledgment of smartphones as professional gadgets used by journalists by Media Council of Kenya in a publice notice dated 28th November 2022. “Journalists should be allowed to use mobile/smartphones as professional journalistic equipment to gather news.
Camera Focused Smartphones
Smartphone companies are now in a stiff competition on who makes the best camera phone. This is good news to US, you included. It means we are now at a time we came produce professional video content with clarity from those pocket studios. Companies are now shifting to software powered cameras that are more powerful and can take in updates to better performance.
Editing video content has come a long way. Conventionally done on computers. Today we have mobile apps which are able to do end to end editing and you can render in high definition, HD. Social media platforms like TikTok have also included inbuilt editing features that were a reserve of softwares like Premier Pro and Final Cut. Meta through Instagram Reels have also included inbuilt editing features. All these are tools a mobile journalist or content creator should take advantage of.
Powerful Recording Apps
Journalists share a cardinal rule of never going wrong with audio. With that in mind, every storyteller aims to get high quality audio. Today, smartphones companies are building audio recording apps with great capabilities in noice cancellation and even marking different speakers with stickers through artificial intelligence. You can also get audio extensions like wireless mics. That means we can now create content with seamless audio with smartphones. A win for you and us.
We are changing and transforming the African narrative one story at a time and as we gear for this year let’s be intentional and tell more. It’s a clarion call like in the good book, go yee and tell stories for stories shape perception and perspective.
Happy birthday to #MobileJournalismAfrica.