At the Associated Collegiate Press convention in Austin, TX last weekend, I learned a new vocab word in a citizen journalism session: MoJo.
Some of you are probably familiar with the term – it’s been around for a couple of years now. It’s a hybrid word that’s short for mobile journalist. These field-only reporters work mostly from their cars or coffee shops with internet access and have equipment that allows them to upload copy, shoot and edit video and photos and upload all of these components to the web version of the publication straight from their cars. Click here to read a first-hand account from a working mojo.
The story describes mojo Chuck Myron’s job working for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla. In the article, Myers writes, “We can’t do journalism the way we’ve been doing it unless we want to become irrelevant. Millions of readers have already left us behind and are wondering why we haven’t kept up with them. Professional journalism has its place online, and it’s high time we take it.”
Most industry professionals have absorbed this same attitude, but it may have gone too far. The lack of fact-checking and copy editing in some publications’ content is crippling the credibility of journalism. As our professor has stressed many times, it only takes one mistake to lose credibility.
This Monday, The Washington Post felt the burn of a lack of copy editing in its publication of a world series column riddled with errors.
This mojo phenomenon brings up a few questions.
1. Is the mobile journalist the answer to curb the public’s voracious hunger for 24-hour news coverage? Is it the future of news-internet journalism?
2. Or does the idea of uploading without an edit pose more problems than benefits?
3. Finally, as journalists in the making, would you consider this fast-paced, grass-roots position? It sure isn’t glamorous, but it’s a job that pays.