World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

The “MoJo” Era

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

The “MoJo” Era

Yusuf Omar, Co-Founder of Hashtag Our Stories, is absolutely convinced it already is. The former Senior Social Reporter of CNN is determined to prove it through Hashtag Our Stories.

And he gave a bunch of reasons to explain why.

Traditional media can't win the breaking news game, he assured; news organizations and papers are struggling with hyper local news; aggregation and fact checking are not a sustainable value add; the future is video – "Pivot to video is real", he emphasized; we are in the golden age of journalism, but as a reporter you need to be half robot. "You need to be Robocop".

"And I am a MoJo (Mobile Journalist)", he said.

For Omar there are seven steps to take to embrace the "MoJoism". Some news can't be live "but others definitely can"; survey the geers that already exist in the newsroom; cut the fat of the productions; gamify the newsroom; take it live –"it is going to get 10 times more comments on Facebook"-; pick a day of the week to train each reporter; choose the social media formats.

"Empower everybody", he recommended.

He believes that his business model can also be profitable. And he summarizes some of the possible ways to make money. "It could be crowdfunding, sponsored content, on platform monetization, paywall... Good journalism and getting access to hard to reach communities is going to attract people to participate".

Mobile Journalism is giving voice to something. "To more views, more perspective. More truth".

Although Daisy Li is not a "MoJo", she assures that "exciting new technologies, new devices, allow us to make better journalism".

It is what has happened to the journalist, who used to be in charge of Action News for Taiwan's Apple Daily, when she and several media veteran launched the website in Hong Kong.

Technology and partnerships with data companies have helped the new website to gain reputation and trust from the audience. For example, by using social media data they could reflect the sentiment of the public towards the candidates of the Hong Kong Chief Executive polemic election this year. Thanks that partnership they could as well report about the increasing number of prosecutions after the Umbrella Movement in the island in 2014.

"In the past ten months we have focused on the important news of the day, producing reliable news with insights, a wide spectrum of viewpoints, and experimenting on innovative news formats", she said.

Until now they get the funding from donations and crowdfunding, but she knows that this "won't be long lasting".

"The way we are looking at is more subscriptions. We don't produce a lot of news, so the web will be free. But we will provide subscribers with a very lengthy in-depth analytic email every Sunday".

She believes that not everything starts and finishes with millennials. "We think the older generation buys our idea and they want to support our independence (media) cause".

Robb Montgomery, journalism professor, consultant and serial entrepreneur based in Berlin (Germany) is also enthusiastic about what technology has brought to journalism. Like many of his peers, he believes that videos are not only the future, but the present of the industry. "Videos edited by a robot in the mobile". That's the magic formula.

"Innovation doesn't have to be for tech people only. It happens every day. That is my belief and my experience".

But bringing innovation into journalism, whether it is through mobile reporting, voice technology or robot editing, doesn't mean to forget about the basics. "You need to ask the same questions. Who, what, when, where, why".

"If you train reporters and you give them that literacy it doesn't matter who edits (the video), if the robot or the editors".


Paloma Almoguera


2017-11-02 16:25

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