Smartphones are in almost everybody’s pockets these days, they come with large screens and the possibility to shoot video and images with very high quality. The goal of the two-day workshop was to break down the basics of mobile video reporting and how videos are created that can live up to the standard required by broadcasters. 

News doesn’t stop and oftentimes news pieces are enriched with content that was clearly shot on the spot. For example, when it comes to rather spontaneous incidents – filming an altercation between police and protestors, experiencing some type of natural catastrophe but of course, happier situations such as impromptu proposals or the atmosphere at a big sports match.

The workshop facilitator, Laurent Kalfala, answered questions as to why one should shoot with a smartphone, showed examples of the early days of smartphone videos in journalism and invited participants to analyse how a story can unfold with the help of images and sound.

Further, participants delved deep into the technical side of what their smartphones can do – how do you get the best video and sound quality? Which apps or accessories are helpful?

Some impressions of the two-day workshop. Photos: European Newsroom

Afterwards, the participants did some fieldwork, applying their new knowledge around Brussels. The practical element of the workshop allowed the participants to get a real example of how video journalism can be done with a smartphone – and where the pitfalls lie.

Telling a story in 10-25 shots, 60 to 90 seconds can prove to be quite tricky, especially when the material is vast and rich. Throughout the workshop, participants learned the importance of a good selection as well as the creation of a coherent narrative. Further, they learned about the editing process and the delivery to their respective newsrooms. The small scale of the workshop allowed for a lot of 1-on-1 time with the facilitator, which made participants progress fast.

The last part of the workshop included the screening of the participants’ work. With other colleagues present, they showed their stories which had entirely been shot and edited on their smartphones.

Six Journalists from AFP, AGERPRES, ANSA, EFE and HINA participated.