The Power of Mojo – Kelsey Sutor
While Austin Powers may have lost his mojo, the world of journalism is gaining it. No, not the sexual prowess the 60’s shagger possesses, but “mobile journalism” – the increasing usage of mobile footage in news bulletins.
Mobile footage is being increasingly used by professional news organisations, because it is “real time”, that is, showing the event as it happens. Everyday people are becoming citizen journalists, whipping out their phones and capturing whatever is happening in front of them.
They then upload their footage to the Internet, which is picked up by news organisations for their websites and often, for their nightly news bulletins.
This recent phenomenon has sparked the term “mobile journalism”, where a cameraman is replaced with an iPhone.
A recent example in Australia is the Sydney riots. Footage of police pepper spraying Muslim protestors mere days ago has now received over 20,000 views on YouTube.
Google “mobile phone footage”, and shaky, blurry and real-time footage shows the body of Muammar Gaddafi, the victims of Denver cinema massacre and drunken violence in Kings Cross – all major news events in the last year.
On ninemsn.com, nearly every news story covered has associated mobile phone footage, the idea being to read the story, then watch the footage.
Most nights, the news bulletins will broadcast amateur video, and then proceed to ask if anyone has footage from the event to send it in to the respective organization.
In the age of the World Wide Web, clear, edited footage, which takes time to create, has been replaced in favour of the “now”, footage in real time – viewers don’t want to wait, they want updates now.
So, what does this mean for the future of journalism? We are already discussing the death of the newspaper in favour for the Internet, so what about the humble cameraman? Will journalists even be needed, or will citizens replace them with a camera in their phone?
Ironically, time will tell.