#HHNBO A mojo studio in the palm of your hand

The February meet-up focused on free apps and easy skills for creating and sharing stories using smartphones.

(Pic credit: Code for Africa)

By Kenneth Muimi

The media landscape is constantly evolving. The mobile revolution has reintroduced the mobile phone as a complete tool for storytelling, as is evident in the number of media houses and independent journalists that use the smartphone to shoot, edit and publish their stories. We invited Mobile Journalism Africa to our February meet-up in Nairobi to show us how to turn an average smartphone into mini-studio.

Mobile Journalism Africa’s mantra is ‘our stories are best told by us’. The aim of the training session was to provide each individual with the skills to be able to live this mantra. Community members were excited to empower themselves and to be able to update and complement their existing digital journalism skills, by learning to create easy, compelling video content on their own mobile phones. Participants were trained on the types of apps one can use to create great mobile content, functionality and the basic skills required to use them.

Discovering new tools with Code For Africa’s David Lemayian (right) (Pic credit: Code for Africa)

Speaking at the event, Code for Africa’s Communities Manager Catherine Gicheru highlighted the importance of using the skills gained in this training, and all journalism skills in general, ethically.

Code for Africa’s Catherine Gicheru assists a community member (Pic credit: Code for Africa)

Mobile Journalism Africa founder Yegon Emmanuel also urged participants to pursue more knowledge and gain even more skills in mobile journalism. By the end of the session, two of the participants were confident enough of the skills that they learnt to offer to produce Mobile Journalism stories.

The worlds of hackers and journalists are coming together, as reporting goes digital and Internet companies become media empires.

Journalists call themselves “hacks,” someone who can churn out words in any situation. Hackers use the digital equivalent of duct tape to whip out code.

Hacker-journalists try and bridge the two worlds. Hacks/Hackers Africa aims to bring all these people together — those who are working to help people make sense of our world. It’s for hackers exploring technologies to filter and visualise information, and for journalists who use technology to find and tell stories. In the age of information overload and collapse of traditional business models for legacy media, their work has become even more crucial.

Code for Africa, the continent’s largest #OpenData and civic technology initiative, recognises this and is spearheading the establishment of a network of HacksHackers chapters across Africa to help bring together pioneers for collaborative projects and new ventures.

Follow Hacks/Hackers Africa on Twitter and Facebook and join the Hacks/Hackers community group today.