There are many talented mobile journalists (Mojos) around the world who have found the right formula to tell compelling visual stories that capture the interest of large audiences.
Yusuf Omar is one of them. As one of the world’s leading Mojos, Omar has worked for CNN as a senior social media reporter and is the co-founder of Hashtag Our Stories, a global network of mobile storytellers creating videos about people changing their worlds.
Omar understands the fast-paced world of mobile reporting, and what whipping out a smartphone to capture real-time content is like.
Those who are familiar with the term ‘mojo’ understand the association it has with mobile journalism – the practice of using mobile phones to capture and record content for news stories and more.
However, over the past decade, mobile media collection has been adopted by businesses outside the media industry, because in short, every industry needs to tell a story – and most industries are evolving to operate like modern media houses.
Mobile media collection has been adopted by businesses outside the media industry, because every industry needs to tell a story
According to Omar, mobile journalism, no matter the user, community or mobile device, “can range from the curation of user-generated content on broadcast stations to a seven-year-old child amplifying her voice on a mobile phone”.
Over the years, Omar had made mobile storytelling his main focus. When asked why he chose to go this route, he reveals that “Mojo is relevant because the mobile is the democratised device; a voice that most people have in their pockets. I think we’re in the ‘now’. And the ‘now’ is people with mobile phones, documenting the world.”
Mobile media storytelling has become second to nature, as billions of people consume content using their smartphones. Omar believes that more organisations outside of the traditional media industry should be looking at Mojo as a way of generating content.
“Mojo is relevant because the mobile is the democratised device; a voice that most people have in their pockets”
“Every job that can be automated will be automated,” Omar continues. “And the other more creative jobs are the ones that are tending to survive and thrive, and in that, storytelling will appear across every single industry. People are trying to tell stories as they sell products online and services. And the stories you tell are often to be delivered on mobile devices or wearable technology.”
While the world is adapting to mobile media storytelling, Omar is moving on to wearable technology and is currently working on various projects. He is focusing on a special project in the UK that involves fighting hate crime with the use of augmented reality, and Mojo projects in the US that unpack people’s perspectives curated by journalists.
What can we all do together to tell better mobile stories? Omar says, “Keep it real, keep it raw, keep it intimate. This is not a big device, don’t treat it like one. It’s a blank canvas. There are no rules here. Only tools.”