A day in the life of a mojo-only TV newsroom

Today on Journalism.co.uk we are learning
about a mojo-only TV Indian newsroom but from here in the UK. We are joined by Umashankar
Singh who is the foreign editor of NDTV India and he’ll be explaining how the reporting
works thanks very much for joining us Umashankar can you tell us a little bit about the types
of reporting you are able to do with just your mobile phone? I do live reporting, I
do report from a crisis situation, I interview dignitaries whether it’s a domestic affair
or foreign affair, I do every kind of reporting with just my mobile phone. So how do you do
that? what equipment do you need to take with you out in the field, what are the essentials?
I carry a selfie stick, mic ID, iRig for better sound quality with all the cables. For night
shoot I use a small light this is very handy and I also carry two power banks in this tiny
bag I need good network quality when I do live so in my mobile phone I use two data
sim cards and apart from that one wifi. Quite the impressive collection you’ve got there,
what about apps? what are the essential apps that you need to do your job Umashankar? I
need one app through which I can reduce the picture size of my shot element like I use
Power Director and I need one app through which I can send that stuff to my office my
office NDTV has developed an internal app that is Reporter’s Page through which I upload
visual to my office and it doesn’t impact on the quality visual apart from that I need
one app to record my voiceover and that’s it and as a mobile-first and mojo-only newsroom
what has been the most challenging part of perhaps that transition, given the types of packages
you would be expected to produce? What has helped reporters to overcome that challenge
and those sort of difficulties? Power doesn’t want us to survive so there are financial
crunches due to certain reasons, our resources are very squeezed so we adopted mojo yes after
adopting mojo we faced a lot of technical challenges like a reporter who is not trained
to shoot or make sequences or upload videos or to make a two-shot frame so those are the
challenges and we are coping with it everyday basically it’s about sharing experiences so
we are doing it on our own without any big kind of training programme. Can you give
us a best example of a piece you’ve done which best demonstrates the power or perhaps the
versatility of mobile journalism, and has enabled you to tell a story in a new way or
in a way that would otherwise be challenging through the traditional means? One story I
would like to mention which I shot as a mobile journalist in August 2017 was the Bihar flood
I was there to cover that flood and I used a small boat to cross a river and on that
particular boat I also carried a motorbike so that I can travel at length on that particular
dam where flood affected people where they were staying and I can shoot as much as I
can. Tell me more, incredible, how did the story come together from there? Were you sending
rough cuts back to the office or were you piecing it together as best as you could in
the field and trying to get it out as soon as possible? What happened from there Umashankar?
I travelled almost 25 to 30 miles on a motorbike behind the rider, the local journalist was
driving the motorbike and I was holding a selfie stick in one hand and a microphone
in the other I was asking people about their difficulties, shooting the conditions they
were living in and after shooting all this stuff I came back to the main town there was
no network or very poor network so I decided to upload the whole thing through WhatsApp
because I wanted to see the story on air so the relief and rescue team can reach them
so I uploaded it through WhatsApp and it got edited in the office after a few hours it
went on air. If there had been a camera person with me I could not do this story in this
manner because on a bike only two people can sit so it made it easier for me to shoot it
on my own and I’m really proud of that story as a mobile journalist. An amazing example
of multitasking and mobile journalism, Umashankar thanks very much for all your tips, tricks
and techniques that have been so interesting to learn about and find out how that mojo-only
newsroom works and we’ll be keeping an eye out for the next piece as well thanks very


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