Yusuf Omar is the founder of MoJo org ‘Hashtag Our Stories’. He has a serious journalism pedigree – he’s the former mobile editor at the Hindustan Times, and also worked as Snapchat social media reporter at CNN.
Omar is all about empowering anyone with a mobile phone, showing them how to tell their stories. This is really important in parts of the world that have been overlooked by huge media organisations, and also in places where cultural differences make it difficult for outsiders to interpret and analyse issues or events.
He also makes short, engaging, relatable content. An example:
In this TedX talk he explains how he started working as a foreign correspondent, developing new ways of storytelling at a time when not many ‘serious’ journos were using mobile phones.
You can find more videos and follow Hashtag Our Stories here on Facebook.
Finally, some stories are made for viewing on mobile and couldn’t work on a desktop or laptop. This is one example.
NB: You must watch on a mobile, enable full screen, and use earbuds or headphones.
What you’ll need for MoJo
A smartphone. In all of our classes we will use smartphones. If you don’t have one, please let us know – there are some older iPods available from the library that can do some of the stuff we’ll ask you to do.
External microphones. These are available from the library, and include hand-held iRig mics and Rode lapel mics.
Tripods with phone brackets. Also available from the library.
Of course you can go crazy with gear if you want to really set yourself up with a kit – the journalist below has a hand-held phone bracket with mounted phone, mic, and light. You will not need these! Just start with your phone for now.
You’ll also need some mobile apps
We encourage you to browse for apps you can use for mobile story-making – if you find something awesome, tell us! Most apps are cross-platform, but there are a couple that are iOS- or Android-only (grr).
Below are some suggestions for apps that will be useful for MoJo. This list is not prescriptive, and you don’t have to use all, or any of them.
An important note about MoJo tools
One of the key skills we want you to develop is the ability to find and test tools for yourself. We will recommend some pieces of equipment or apps that work well and have served us well in the past, but as you would know, new tech emerges prettywell daily. The wonderful app we ‘teach’ you to use today may be eclipsed by something super jazzy tomorrow. So you must become adept at finding and testing tools, and that’s something you’ll do for the duration of a career in media production 😉
Take time somewhere you have a wifi connection to download a couple of the apps in the list below 🤓
Start with the photography apps, which you will need for the class exercise next week. We highly recommend Snapseed, which is a brilliant photo editing app.
If you currently have favourite apps for media production that aren’t on the list below, add them in the comments or let us know.
(Most of the apps we recommend are FREE. Please ask us first before downloading anything that costs $$$.)
Class discussion: what kind of stories or digital stuff are easier to make with a mobile phone? What are the advantages or disadvantages of using phones compared with more ‘professional’ equipment such as pro TV cameras, DSLRs, audio recorders with boom mics, etc.? Can you find journalism or other media content you think might have been made with a phone?
Graphic design & video
Wave Editor: Android only
Hokusai: iOS only
iMovie: iOS only