The Mojo in the Third Millennium: Is Multimedia Journalism Affecting the News We See?

Martyn, Peter H
Journalism Practice

Digital technology has revolutionized the journalist's toolkit with affordable miniaturized still and video cameras for producing high-quality multimedia, and connection equipment enabling that content to be transmitted via satellite from almost anywhere on the globe for publication on the Internet. Two results have been the advent of news production by an innovative type of lone, multimedia reporter, known as a "mojo" (mobile journalist) or "sojo" (solo journalist), and an increasing focus on "hyper-local" news on media websites. In an era of heightened newspaper and television competition driven by steadily declining North American readership and viewer numbers, many media managers have embraced with enthusiasm the solo journalist-able to move fast and travel light, at lower cost than traditional news teams. This paper surveys the impact that developments in multimedia publishing have had on the news produced by such solo journalists. It finds evidence of degradation of the genre in some, but not all, cases and concludes that since the Pandora's box of mojo journalism has been opened, if used judiciously by journalists with sufficient experience, there is some hope that the new modalities may result in responsible journalism enriched with multifaceted storytelling.