Journalists learn filming on smartphones – ideal format for social media stories

“Now my company wants to purchase Kinemaster and FilmicPro apps, so I can shoot and edit on my smartphone myself. Generally, we are planning more MoJo stories in the newsroom.”  

Yevheniya Moskalets, 34 TV Channel, participant of MoJo workshop in Dnipro    

First two Mobile Journalism (MoJo) workshops for journalists took place in early November in Dnipro and Kharkiv in a framework of the project called “Reweaving the Ukrainian social fabric: supporting community-led peacebuilding and advocacy”, financed by the European Union and implemented by International Alert and Thomson Media.  

The five-days trainings are designed to empower journalists with knowledge and skills to become confident digital storytellers on topics associated with social cohesion and peacebuilding. First two workshops opened a series of planned for Ukraine in 2019 – 2020. Thomson’s leading MoJo trainers Deborah Kelly and Simon Hustings taught key storytelling concepts, photography composition, filming and editing skills for smartphones.  The workshops were a combination of presentations, discussion and practical exercises – filming on locations. During the trainings each participant produced their own video for social media under the guidance of the trainers, but it was their individual project.

“This course literally turned my understanding about journalism upside down.  I realized what a powerful  tool a regular smartphone could be. In fact, with right software and skills smartphone outperforms TV camera because it allows to shoot with unique angles. The most useful skill I gained during the training is the ability to correctly and quickly make setting in FilmicPro program. Previously, I had no experience in filming, a huge number of settings always scared me so much I didn’t even want to learn about them.”

Serhiy, Slovyansk

For more efficient filming and more opportunities to practice, the group is usually divided in two to cover two separate stories. For example, in Dnipro one team worked on astory about social cohesion, filming sitting volleyball rehearsal, run by International Alert’s grantee Rivni Mozhlyvosti NGO, exploring how the game brings together and helps to overcome social isolation for veterans, IDPs and local people with special needs. Below is Yevheniya Moskalets’ MoJo clip Encouraging everyone to play.


Second group went to Voloske village to cover the ongoing decentralization reform and community efforts in tackling numerous challenges such as water supplies, garbage collection, leaves composting, automatic card entrance to the local school, etc. For instance, Andriy Vlaseko from Expert-KR,  in his clip focused on how the community solved water supply shortage through timely bills payment.  



All videos from Dnipro workshop could be found here.  

In Kharkiv, one group worked on a story about young leaders at Slovo House, working on a project From Obliviion to Immortality, to shed light on unknown history of the so called Ukrainian Executed Renaissance (Rozstrilyane Vidrodzhennia). Participants used archive photos and videos in their edits to visualize the story. One of participants, Inna Tarasenko, in her clip called Slovo House – We Need to Know used creative approach to combine footage from a teaser about Slovo House and filming of Kharkovites and the project team which attended leadership training by International Alert’s sub-grantee – Kharkiv Region Association of Community Initiative ASSA. 

 Another group covered housing issue faced by veterans and IDPs. Journalistically the story was more challenging as a veteran wanted to remain anonymous. However, the journalists tackled the challenge well during filming. To provide more visuals they went to Kharkiv module town for IDPs. Check it out in Andriy Zakharchenko's video below:

All videos from Kharkiv filming are available here.

By teaching human focused, balanced and objective reporting, Thomson strives to avoid perpetrating stereotypes that exist in many media stories in Ukraine, like the most common that internally displaced people are fully dependent on social care or veterans are very strong, undermining their needs for physical and psychological rehabilitation.  

Two more Mobile Journalism workshops are planned in early 2020 in Ukraine. Follow us on Facebook and register on the Regional Voices network not to miss the announcement.  

For more information contact Thomson project coordinator in Ukraine, Olena Sadovnik at   


Reweaving the Ukrainian social fabric: supporting community-led peacebuilding and advocacy

This project is designed to increase the resilience of Ukrainian society to the impacts of conflict and social tensions, and strengthen its capacity to mitigate against future conflict risks. It will do this by building the capacity of an informal network of diverse, grassroots civil society organisations (CSOs) from different areas of the country to generate robust local conflict analyses. The CSOs will then work alongside local authorities to identify existing problems and develop peacebuilding priorities and solutions, with the CSOs and local authorities each informing the work of the other. The project partner, the media organisation the Thomson Foundation, will provide communications and production skills to the CSOs and the media outlets to support these various aims.


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