Mojo marvels

Mojo marvels

A series of digital tools workshops have helped students switch on to the world of mobile journalism

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Mobile journalism students Jackson Ng, Doris Lam, Mimi Lam and Jennifer Tang.
Mobile journalism students Jackson Ng, Doris Lam, Mimi Lam and Jennifer Tang.
Photo: Edmond So/SCMP
Four students, who have just discovered the basics of "mojo", or mobile journalism, focused their microphone and cameras for a digital story on the controversial Hong Kong teenage rapper Lucas Scibetta.

"I read about him in an SCMP article and thought he's interesting," says Doris Lam Man-sze, 15, of St Margaret's Co-educational English Secondary and Primary School.

More than 80 local students, including 50 Young Post Junior Reporters, spent three days learning how to tell a compelling story using digital tools, such as smartphones, digital cameras and recorders, as part of workshops run by the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong.

Doris, Jennifer Tang Wing-lam, Jackson Ng Cheuk-yin and Mimi Lam Cheuk-ying had never heard of mobile journalism before they attended the workshops.

They chose to interview Lucas, 17, aka SkiBs, an American-born student at Hong Kong International School - known for the YouTube video of his song, Hong Kong Kids - for their final assignment.

"His controversial YouTube video has attracted many hits, and also some negative comments," Doris says. "Some people say he's a rich expat kid who misrepresents Hong Kong kids.

"I tracked him down on Facebook and Twitter and sent him many messages, but he never replied." Finally, she contacted Barton Chan, his music producer, and set up an interview.

Mimi, 15, who also attends St Margaret's, says: "It was so cool to see Lucas standing outside a convenience store in Stanley. He was wearing a cap backward, a typical rapper look."

Jackson, 16, who studies at Carmel Secondary School, says: "He rapped his new song for us after the interview. It was good."

The "Online Journalism for Secondary Schools" programme was held over the past two months in collaboration with Young Post and the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education. The workshops were taught by HKU lecturers Masato Kajimoto, AJ Libunao and Kevin Lau.

Jackson says: "It was interesting when Masato showed us examples of character-driven stories done in digital slideshows. I'd never seen such a reporting style."

The classes showed them how to take good photographs, basic interviewing and storytelling skills, and the use of two computer programmes, Audacity and Soundslides, to develop a digital story.

"It's so cool to attend the classes at HKU; it's a prestigious university and I'd never been there," says Jennifer, 16, of Carmel Secondary School, who hopes to study journalism at university.

Doris says: "The interview process was most fun, but also the hardest. We wanted to ask him [Lucas] so many things; but had to be very clear about what we really wanted to focus on - his passion for music."

Mimi adds: "We also had to trim our 15-minute recording into only 90 seconds. That was hard, too."

Jennifer says: "I realised there're many different ways to tell a story; I kept asking myself, 'Is this unique, or just another story?'. But I like our story so much."

Kajimoto was pleased with the students and their work. "I was impressed by how they discovered interesting people to interview and identified newsworthy [angles] for their stories. Young people aren't afraid of technology at all; they've produced the stories with little supervision," he says.

To see the online stories produced by students, go to http://jmsc.hku.hk/sites/hkstories

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