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Reading Response #9 – Webb Final thoughts and Mojo

1. Now that you’ve had a chance to process Amy Webb’s presentation, any additional thoughts or take aways?

2. It’s so important to know background.  Hence this week’s readings.  I asked you to read, “Mobile journalism (mojo) and journalism education” a paper I reviewed and discussed with the author, Stephen Quinn, at the 2010 World Journalism Education Conference in South Africa.  I assigned this paper because Quinn presents mobile journalism in a historical context and then discusses how mojo is changing the role of journalists, journalism and journalism education internationally.  I also assigned the chapter, “Not Your Father’s Educational Technology.”  It provides you with an historical perspective on this class mojo election project pre-FaceBook.  The 2010 mid-term election was the first time we used FaceBook.  Your reaction as you read the material.  Surprises? Pros and cons of mojo news gathering?  Quality of mojo postings to a blog vs the current FB group, Crowdsourcing US Election Day?

Don’t forget to post your responses by the Tuesday 11/5 @11:59 deadline.

Published inJournalismSocialmediaTechnologyTrends


  1. Kelsey J. Kondraski Kelsey J. Kondraski

    I thought that Amy Webb’s presentation was very insightful. I really thought it was interesting about the new apps and virtual assistants. I think that the “donna” app that Amy was talking about was the most intriguing. I find that this app that can extract points from a conversation and generate questions would be extremely helpful. As a journalist, I would use this app while conducting interviews and talking to people. It would guide me so I wouldn’t have to necessarily have to take such intricate notes and not have to think so hard to get good questions. I think the pros of mobile journalism are that it would be very convenient. In this day and age, I think that most people always carry a mobile device. The benefits of mojo are that if there was a potential story, a journalist could simply whip out a phone or iPad and get information for a story. I think that other pros are that there is literally app for everything a journalist would need. A journalist could edit, record, and send audio, video and other multimedia. I think that a con would definitely relate back to citizen journalism. I’ve made this point several times that with mobile journalism, anyone could become a “journalist.” I think the quality of mobile posting to a blog versus Facebook is that Facebook is easier to access from a mobile device. There is a simple way to upload media to Facebook while several blogs are not mobile friendly.

  2. Carter Wintsch Carter Wintsch

    I LOVED AMY WEBB WITH EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING. The thing she said that stuck with me the strongest was that while it is not an EASY time to be a journalist, it is an IMPORTANT time. Even as an individual who doesn’t have a real interest in being a news reporter, it was nice to hear someone tell me that what I am being taught to do matters in a world where I feel as if we are constantly being told it doesn’t.

    I think that mojo news gathering certainly has a place in today’s journalism society. However, when Webb said that journalism tends to be very reactionary, she hit the nail on the head. From what I have seen, most local news outlets are just now really heavily looking to mobile devices for coverage. Frankly, I think it is an entirely different beast than other multimedia reporting, and should be taught differently.

    I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my work. However, where the technology is right now, I cannot achieve the same final product with only a mobile device as I could with a camera/microphone/ and then editing it on a computer. Well, honestly, I think it is possible to achieve a very similar product, but not in a timely manner. My local news outlet, Lancaster Online, uses mobile devices in a way that I think is fitting. For instance, when there was a controversial shooting of a homeless man by a police officer this summer, a reporter with an iPhone or something of the like interviewed some of the other homeless people of the area that knew the man. The piece was edited and clean, but contained no necessary info. I think that mobile devices should be used to give EXTRA info, like by stander reactions etc., but producing an entire story with them is not practical in day to day journalism.

    The Facebook group is nice for multiple reasons. First of all, your audience is basically gathered for you, as everyone in this group already has an interest in elections. Furthermore, discussion or clarification can be fostered through the use of comments. I would also argue that it is easier for an audience to check something out on Facebook, a site which they are probably checking on at LEAST a daily basis already, as opposed to having to go out of their way to another site for a story (Yes, it’s only a few clicks away, but I truly believe our laziness has developed to this point). Finally, as Kelsey mentioned, Facebook is already mobile friendly with its own app, so you don’t have to worry about your site being responsive and looking good on a phone or tablet.

  3. Lucas Rodgers Lucas Rodgers

    Amy Webb made it clear that journalism is in a constant state of flux, especially now more than ever. In order to survive, journalists need to embrace mobile reporting and learn more about programming and data analysis. Also, journalists will need to utilize emerging technologies, such as the smart virtual personal assistant apps and even drones. Drones are under a lot of fire right now because they can be invasive of privacy and there is certainly potential for their power to be abused. However, drones also show a lot of promise as useful newsgathering devices for shooting photos and videos from remote locations.
    The ideas present in Mojo seem to go along with what Webb and Jim MacMillan said, in that mobile journalism will be of great significance going forward. It seems that Stephen Quinn makes a clear distinction between mojo and other forms of multimedia journalism. I agree with Carter that mobile devices aren’t yet on the same level of quality as traditional camera equipment, but they are fairly comparable, given the right skills and tools. Mobile journalism seems better suited to breaking news and small packages to supplement more in depth multimedia news or traditional news, but legacy media still has a place for now. I think that the audiences for print news and television news will continue to dwindle, but I don’t imagine that mobile journalism will ever completely replace multimedia journalism.
    The idea that more and more news consumers will become producers of news or colleagues of journalists does seem quite likely, especially as mobile technology continues to improve. Many people who are interested in the news probably like to be involved with gathering the news, and mobile journalism gives them an outlet to do so. Again, this form of citizen journalism will not and should not completely replace professional journalists, but including viewer-produced content in the news diversifies the field of journalism and adds depth to the stories.
    The older posts to the crowdsourcing Facebook page seemed to work well in the context. Most of them were short posts with a little bit of text and a photo or two. This probably makes more sense than posting longer, edited video packages. The advantage of using a mojo blog is that it allows the reporter to publish the story online faster, but making a Facebook post gives the reporter more time to edit and organize the package.

  4. Olivia La Bianca Olivia La Bianca

    Sorry I’m a little late!

    I think Amy Webb’s presentation was amazing – definitely the best speaker we’ve encountered in this class so far despite the numerous technical issues with Skype. Her viewpoint that journalism was not dead but merely changing was a wonderful takeaway, one that inspired hope instead of feelings of doom for me as a journalism student.

    However, I was surprised at what she said about the media not being one of the forerunners in technological innovation. For some reason I always assumed that they were growing more rapidly than Webb claimed. Perhaps all the talk in my numerous journalism classes about new media and digital platforms being in the near future misled me, but I thought that newsgathering entities were much more willing to accept the next wave of new technology.

    I was enthralled at her ability to predict the future of journalism tech, especially considering how right she was so far. While I could never research data without my head exploding, I highly commend those who can and who can make such accurate predictions.

    As far as mojo goes, we covered this area a lot back at Messiah in some of the courses that I took. It especially reminds me of the concept of hyper-news blogs, where locals keep accounts of hyper-focused activity of their immediate area via blogging and other forms of audio/visual newsgathering. I enjoy using the iPod Touch and the Splice app to put videos together, because it can all be used on one device and put out within a matter of minutes. However, as something of a perfectionist, I do struggle with the knowledge that it is not perfect, not nearly as well-packaged as it could be.

    I understand that journalism must move away from the perfectionist tendency and more towards the “get it out while it is still a hot issue” viewpoint, but it is something that I definitely struggle with. Also, in the manner of Amy Webb, I can’t help but look forward and wonder how that mindset will affect the audiences when lower-quality packages are all they will receive.

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