Event Reports

MoJo - Journalism with a little magic box

by Johannes Wolf

For the third time, the Media Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, in cooperation with Deutsche Welle, organised a workshop in the field of Mobile Journalism (MoJo) - this time in Vlore, Albania. From 1 to 5 May, eleven journalists from eight countries in South East Europe were taught by two trainers, Antje Pfeiffer and Florian Schmitz, how to shoot, cut and edit a video using a mobile phone.
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Hendrik Sittig, Head of the Media Programme, spoke in his welcome speech about the chances and opportunities that working with a mobile phone opens up for journalism. As a result of the technology development, a lot has changed in a short time: “I remember when I started my first steps as a journalist about 25 years ago. I had a pencil, a notebook, and a photo-camera – of course with a negative film inside. And then, some years later – when I became a TV-Reporter I was part of a Reporter-Team. I had an operator and an assistant with a lot of technic and of course a huge camera. And today each of us has a smartphone and can use it to produce our own contributions - quickly, independently and with new perspectives.”

A thematic introduction to the world of mobile journalism followed by the trainers, Antje Pfeiffer from Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg and Florian Schmitz, journalist abroad for Deutsche Welle. The participants discussed ethical and legal aspects of journalism in the plenary and later learned how to tell a story in moving images and create good video recordings. The focus was on practical application, such as writing a storyboard or filming a first own sequence. Antje Pfeiffer: "For me, it is important that by the end of the workshop the journalists become aware that journalistic and cinematic craftsmanship is necessary to report in a balanced and independent way and to tell stories.” Each image makes its own statement and must therefore be used consciously. Not everyone with a smartphone is also a mobile journalist. You have to be aware of what it takes to differentiate yourself from millions of other content creators.

After the thematic introduction, the participants were able to implement their own short movie ideas. The task was to produce a two- to three-minute portrait of a character. To do this, the journalists had to find protagonists, prepare and conduct interviews, and film actions. This is how eleven short videos about people from Vlore were created - stories about the work of cleaning ladies and hotel managers, salespeople, receptionists and the emigration plans of young Albanians. Florian Schmitz sees a great strength of mobile journalism in this variety of possible implementations: "For me, MoJo in Southeast Europe is an opportunity for freelance colleagues to realise topics that would otherwise be lost in the media. Above all, it offers possibilities to tell stories across political conflicts, state and historical borders, and to explore new ways of journalistic cooperation." In this way, the MoJo workshop is also a tool for implementing the goals of the KAS-Media Programme, which include strengthening press freedom and media pluralism.