This week, local journalists were put through their paces, exploring the multidimensional world of Mobile Journalism (MOJO) and how to use new technologies to write, record and distribute their stories.
Held in Gaborone, the two-day workshop was hosted by Women in News (WIN) and attended by reporters and photographers from the country’s different media houses.
The event was facilitated by Kenya’s Churchill Otieno, Digital Editor of the Nation Media Group – the largest independent media house in East and Central Africa with operations in print, broadcast and digital media.
The topics covered included: understanding the smart phone as a tool of work, immersive journalism and mobile technologies impact on the industry.
Speaking to The Voice, Otieno stressed that the modern day journalist must provide context, accuracy and relevant background in their reporting.
He noted that social media has seen the dawn of ‘fake news’ and thus it is crucial for journalists to be sure of their facts.
“Journalists should go out to find the right stories, verify information in those stories to be facts and explain to their audience what this means to their lives. Telling stories in visuals has become very critical,” said Otieno, who warned that if the industry is to thrive, or even survive, journalists must adapt to today’s digitally driven world.
Turning his attention to ‘citizen journalism’, Otieno noted that MOJO means members of the public are now able to publish their own content, increasing the competition for audience attention.
However, he stressed that MOJO does not simplify journalism but rather challenges reporters to up their game.
He encouraged journalists to focus on facts central to their story and to report them in a timely, stimulating and ethical way, in a format the audience will find relevant.
Speaking after the short course, the Weekend Post’s Utlwanang Gasennelwe said he had learnt a lot and was eager to put the training into practice.
He stressed that as the industry navigates steadily from print to digital, the skills required for online journalism will become increasingly vital.