Maaz Hasan , Transmission Controller , NDTV
"The arrival of MoJo has provided that fast and cost effective technique. Normally when a story has to be covered by a news channel and live broadcasting is to be done, a crew consisting of a reporter, a cameraperson, an engineer with OB Van or Live U unit are sent."
Television news and their broadcasting techniques have changed drastically and so has their delivery system to the masses. From the first newspaper in the 18th century to radio broadcasting in 1927 to the present television and the Internet media in 2017, much has changed. In earlier days, the news of the war used to be days old when it would reach the living rooms. Today, war strategies are predicted and their forecast is conferred in the newsrooms. With the advent of 4G technology, the Internet is faster than ever. People are in the loop of happenings of the world in a blink of an eye. Newscasters now concentrate on what people want to see rather than what they need to see. The pervasiveness of the news has intensified and their effect on the society has deepened.
Websites are only a part of the delivery system. Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media handles have become important means of reaching the potential viewers. There is a media house rat-race to deliver news first on all available platforms. The run to broadcast the incidents in the fastest possible ways, has led to the emergence of MoJo.
MoJo stands for mobile journalism. Newscasters have started using (or at least trying to use) the video calling technology for their live reporting from the site of incident. Applications such as Skype, Hangout, Google's Duo, etc. are making it possible for them. Mobile phone cameras have become as good as DSLRs. They capture superior quality images and videos which can be telecast directly. A very simple technique is employed to take the reporter from ground zero to the living rooms of the viewers.
The reporter calls the production control room (PCR) where the director patches the audio/video of the reporter with the anchor and he is live on-air in practically no time with his news report. MoJo is turning out to be yet another weapon of combat in the run to deliver news
Cost-effective technologies have always been dearer to everyone including the newscasters. The arrival of MoJo has provided that fast and cost effective technique. Normally when a story has to be covered by a news channel and live broadcasting is to be done, a crew consisting of a reporter, a cameraperson, an engineer with OB Van or Live U unit are sent to the location and an OB van or live U Unit is connected to the servers of the broadcaster.
The whole process, right from deciding the crew to setting up the camera and OB, takes a finite amount of time and resources which many a times goes way beyond the budget allotted for the given story. Apart from the large operational cost, OB vans or live U units have colossal installation costs. All of this gets replaced by just a camera phone and a selfie stick. This makes the scheme of things way cheaper and faster.
Like every technology has its own pros and cons, MoJo is no exception. The quality of live broadcasting is not as good as that done through an OB van, despite having a good camera. This is because video calling technology uses the available 3G/4G network in the public domain which varies greatly with the location and the number of users in the network. On the other hand, OB van uses the satellite uplink technology which has the ability to set up virtually anywhere irrespective of the geostationary satellite. A cameraperson, either with the handheld camera or with the tripod setup, cannot be replaced by a reporter holding a selfie stick in his hand.
The video frame definitely looks uneasy, shaky, and unpleasant. The broadcasters are using this as an experiment. Is it going to pass the litmus test? Well, the answer to it lies in the future. All we can do is wait and watch.