CJ Con-Zombie

Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

MoJo in action

In Uncategorized on March 3, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Here’s a nifty link for anyone who wants to see what I mean by “journalism from the car.”


Something’s Gotta Give – Something’s Gotta Give

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2010 at 6:12 am


Kiss, J. (2007, October 23). Reuters’ ‘mojo’ experiments with nokia. The Guardian, online.

Rich, Carole. (2010). Writing and reporting news: a coaching method. Boston, MA: Wadsworth.

Cloud Journalism

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

The future of reporting is just as “online” as the present is—and it is.

I’m working on wrapping up a technology story about a local game developer in Calgary, sitting in

I hear about a secret event being planned for the community I’m in that will take place in half an hour, and whizz off to where it will be. This is under another journalists jurisdiction, but I happened to be closer at the time, and have the informant. I show up to the event just as things get underway and they are surprised that I knew to arrive. The planners grant me an interview, and several people among the attendees and crowd give me their names and input on it. The event is small, but I happened to be there and got the photos and story. I have them checked by my editor, and within an hour I file the story online and my contribution to the paper is up and being read about.

This is mobile journalism. This is also apparently “cloud reporting.”

Let me Wixplain that:

Wikipedia (great source, I know…) explaines cloud computing as this: ”

This definition states that clouds have five essential characteristics: on-demand self-service, broad network access, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and measured service. Narrowly speaking, cloud computing is client-server computing that abstract the details of the server away – one requests a service (resource), not a specific server (machine).”

That can be translated easily for reporting to basically mean a collective posting site for us to use to get better and faster access to a wider range of information and stories. We see it, we get the details, we put it up on the server and BANG–local to global circulation.

Whomever is closest to something zips over, works hard and whips out a story for the online edition of whomever they work for: some are citing this new mobility as being a sign of the end of their structured, defined beats in favour of a mash of call asignments. Rather than walking just their beat, this refers to proximity.

Anyone who has ever worked for a small town paper with few-enough staff to make “beats” just categories in your filing cabinet knows that good reporting can exist without specialized beats. Personal connections to stories won’t be destroyed: just as you have a phone to be called out to a proximity scene, your beat contacts have phones to be reached at to keep in touch and keep updated. It just means we need to learn to be more flexible and work faster. Yes, this is where I was complaining about stress levels rising as more demand is placed on our work.


Food for Thought.

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2010 at 5:14 am

More than ever, the world needs journalism that is discerning, insightful and fair. This journalism should reveal critical issues and look at stories that might otherwise go unnoticed or untold. As such, the future of global journalism (and thus mobile journalism) is very important.

The world’s growing interconnectivity has a vast array of consequences for those that depend on journalism. As the trend continues, journalists become more and more pressed for time because news cycles have become little more than a tick of the clock—minutes and seconds passing by. Journalists are given less time to address their many ethical decisions.

In the news business, reputation is everything. Readers and viewers must be able to believe in the information being put in front of them. As such, ethics stand as an integral part of what journalism is all about. Ethics play a huge role in traditional media. The rise of the internet and mobile phones has turned this traditional media square on it its head. An absence of quality in this newly emerging medium has tremendous implications.

Mobile journalism has repeatedly been equated with citizen journalism. This means that now, more than ever, consumers must be able to hold a critical eye to the stories they read or watch. The emergence of citizen journalism often translates into a lack of education in journalisms new contributors. This means that there is a deficit of knowledge about how about how to determine what constitutes as factual, unbiased, and truth telling.

Quality can mean the difference between freedom and restriction; between justice and injustice; between information and deception. We know how quality translates to these differences in traditional media, but what about the new realm of mojo journalism? We must be able to figure out what constitutes quality information in such a fast-evolving digital world.

Editors are needed more than ever. Customization is part of the beauty of mobile journalism and its connectivity to the web. Volumes of news stories exist where only one or two might have stood in the past. This can be quite worrisome. Where editors and news producers scrupulously determined what appeared on the plates of those consuming the news, RSS feeds now stand.

Often times, mobile journalism involves removing the editor and replacing him or her with the news consumer. This has significant fallouts. Key judgments that editors made as gatekeepers of the media suddenly disappear. Not only can users find themselves consuming information that is wrong, but they may also find themselves missing information they didn’t know they needed to know.

Customization along with rapid outtake and intake of information means that important discoveries are lost. I’m not sure I can think of anything more detrimental.

All of this mashed together means that some tough questions need to be asked and addressed.

1) How do we ensure quality and integrity in such a fragmented landscape?
2) How do we ensure that all stakeholders uphold their individual and group responsibilities for protecting the news?
3) As a news consumer, how can someone be sure that what is being consumed is true and accurate?

– CJ Mojo

And the Verdict is…

In Uncategorized on March 1, 2010 at 3:52 am

Mojo journalism is certainly still very experimental. It certainly doesn’t seem to be able to replace current technology in print or broadcast—at least not yet. Current technology exists as a great newsgathering tool, rather than one to actually present the news.

The tools that mobile journalists are currently equipped with are a great adjunct to current technology. Replacement isn’t necessarily what its goal should be. However, some have compared it to a Swiss Army knife. The Swiss Army knife is a wonderful tool if you’ve got nothing else, or if you’re in a bind and need a quick solution. The same is true of present technologies of mobile journalism. The mobile phone, as well as all the gadgetry that goes along with it, are great tools if you find yourself on the run and have nothing else.

Mobile journalist technologies prove very useful in certain situations. If a journalist (or member of the public) finds his or herself in a newsworthy situation, and all he or she has is their camera phone, they are still able to record audio and video and shoot still photographs. These items will prove very valuable for multimedia journalism, as something greater than text can be used for the story.

As a journalist, live video in the palm of one’s hand means that the ability to report live with freedom never seen before. However, diminutive sizes also mean that the quality of the footage is less than industry standard. Yet few seem to be bothered by such an issue, as the world is given the ability to witness events as they happen.
Imagine for a moment that we are, as a global population, able to immediately watch the atrocities of war or civil unrest as they unfold. Now stop imagining because with mobile journalism, this is possible.

The moment something happens, it is captured and then sent all around the world for everyone and anyone to view. This is a movement in the journalism experience. The world continues to become increasingly more demanding for news on the spot, and this trend does not seem to be going anywhere. The experience of viewing is all the more engaging and compelling. This is all happening as the world become smaller, more connected and much more immediate.

Summed up quite simply, the best new media (i.e. mobile journalism) is based upon old media. You cannot achieve a product of much worth in the world of journalism without using the fundamentals of old media. This means that the values of old media must be incorporated. The skills used for more traditional methods must still be used, as well as an awareness of what else is possible.

No doubt, a shift in media as we know it is occurring. The way we do journalism is changing. There must be a willingness to play with the tools and accept that journalism may move beyond what we currently know. After that, we are all in new territory.

– CJ Mojo