Event Reports

Mobile Journalism Conference Asia 2020

The future of mojo is in Asia!

More than 750 people from over 63 countries have joined the world’s first virtual mobile journalism conference. The Mobile Journalism (MOJO) Conference Asia 2020 pivoted from a planned physical event to the online environment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It combined live and online sessions, webinars and master classes, co-created with MOJO experts from worldwide.

Many speakers pointed to the democratising impact of mojo. “For the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) the democratization of storytelling is the most important aspect of mobile reporting. The protests following the murder of George Floyd, recorded by a 17-year-old and published on Facebook, are testament to its tremendous societal impact”, said the host of the conference, Christoph Grabitz, Director of the KAS Media Programme Asia. “The smartphone has become an integral part of our technical arsenal,” said keynote speaker Joanna Webster, deputy head of visuals at Reuters. “The whole newsroom has realized the power of mobile journalism helping us to improve the journalism we deliver.”.

 

Yusuf Omar, head of the media company Hashtag Our Stories, said: “Mobile journalists now exist to amplify innovations to global problems, and create more understanding.”. Suman Basnet, Asia-Pacific Regional Director of the organisation World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, further added that mobile journalism and the accessibility of smartphones has the ability to make journalists and the communities they serve “one and the same”.

 

The concluding session with Christoph Grabitz, Director at the Media Programme Asia together with Christoph Plate, Director of the KAS Media Programme Sub-Sahara Africa, journalism trainer of the JONA journalism academy of KAS Anca Specht and Chilean journalist Nicolás Guzmán looked at how mobile journalism is being taught globally, and looked ahead to the continued transformative effect that mojo will have on journalists’ jobs and the stories they can tell: “What we’ve seen during the pandemic is journalists explaining to people how to film themselves because they can’t go out on the job during lockdown.” said Anca Specht.

 

The conference website will serve as an archive of video, webinars, podcasts and blogs covering a range of topics, and as a useful companion to the Mobile Journalism Manual for Reporters and Newsrooms, which the KAS Media Programme Asia published in 2018 and recently made available in French.

 

“We managed, once again, to bring together enthusiasts from all over the world to exchange ideas on the future of journalism. Of course we want to gather physically next year but we will definitely stick to the online repository.”, said Christoph Grabitz, Director of the KAS Media Programme Asia.

Contact Person

Christoph Koitka

Christoph Koitka (2020)

Research Associate

christoph.koitka@kas.de +65 6603 6186 +65 6227 8343