FREE ONLINE COURSE:

Mobile Journalism:

How to use your phone to produce great

videos and build a social audience



Instructor: Yusuf Omar

Feb. 4 - March 3, 2019



With support from:



Welcome to the massive open online course (MOOC), “Mobile Journalism: How to use your phone to produce great videos and build a social audience” from the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin. For more information about the course, please read this story and the detailed information below.




Registering in the platform is easy. Please follow these steps:

  • 1. Create an account in the Journalism Courses system. Even if you’ve taken a course with us before, you may need to create a new account. Check to see if your previous username and password work before creating a new account.
  • 2. Wait for a confirmation in your email indicating that your account has been created. If you do not receive this, please check your spam folder.
  • 3. Log into the platform, scroll down until you see the course listings, and click on the “Mobile Journalism: How to use your phone to produce great videos and build a social audience” course.
  • 4. A button will appear. Click “Enroll” to enroll yourself in the course. You will be able to access the course from the “My Courses” menu at the top of the page.
  • 5. You will receive an email confirming your enrollment.

Please add the email addresses knightcenter@austin.utexas.edu and filipa.rodrigues@utexas.edu to your address book to ensure you receive emails about the course.

This course provides an introduction to social videos creation, both for and by mobile devices.

It will help students understand the latest innovations at the intersection of technology, media and people.

In this course, you’ll learn how to discover amazing stories online, capture and edit videos with your phone and build engagement strategies so your content travels online.

We’re entering a world of robo-journalism, where any task that can be automated by robots, is being automated. In order to survive and remain relevant, you need to be RoboCop journalists, equipped with a bunch of storytelling tools.

On completion of the course, each student will produce a journalistic video that will be shared across social media platforms. Students in this course will have a good grounding to tackle the challenges of a global, social and mobile world in 2019.

Upon completion of this course, you will learn to:

Experience new Mobile Journalism (MOJO) technologies and social video trends.
Empower yourself with mobile-first workflows to produce highly shareable video formats.
Engage with audiences so your stories travels further and faster online.

Introduction Module: Find Your Mojo!

There’s never been a more exciting time to be a journalist. We’ve got access to more storytelling tools than ever. But most of us only have two hands and one mobile device. So when a story happens, what do you do? Tweet it? Make a Youtube video? Make an Instagram story? Upload a podcast? So many options! Some of this decision making will be based on your gut feeling as a storyteller. Others may consider using data from previous stories to inform their decisions. In this course we’ll explore various formats for different kinds of stories. Ready to find your mojo?

In the introductory module, you will get an overview of the course structure and meet the instructor.


Module 1: Social Discovery

How to find amazing stories online and from around the world, using the latest techniques and tools to discover and verify user-generated content.

In this week:

  • Develop original angles and story ideas.
  • Learn about constructive journalism and solutions-based storytelling.
  • Experience using new techniques and tools to find and aggregate videos online.
  • Understand online copyright policies.
  • Apply fact checking principles to verify user-generated content.

Module 2: Social Videography

This is all about social publishing and how to capture the best possible content with your phone. A few small tips can make a really big difference in producing professional quality videos with the device you already own.

In this week you will learn to:

  • Learn mobile videography techniques, from stability and framing to sound and sequencing.
  • Build Instagram/Snapchat Stories strategies and explore global best practices.

Module 3: Social Editing

Now that you’ve shot a video, it’s time to edit your masterpiece and get it ready for various social media platforms. We’ll go from the storyboarding and scripting process, all the way to exporting.

In this week you will learn to:

  • Create video storyboards, shot-lists and scripts for social videos.
  • Practice mobile video editing for various online video formats like explainers.

Module 4: Social Engagement

You’ve done all the hard work, made an amazing mobile video. Now it’s time to share, share, share. The audience isn’t just going to come to you, we need the story to find them! This module shares the secrets of optimizing your content for social platforms and ensuring your stories bubble to the top of people’s social media timelines.

In this week you will learn to:

  • Identify how social videos differ on each platform.
  • Create derivative content strategies so your content can be easily repurposed.
  • Understand how to help your content beat the algorithms.
  • Build engagement and sharing strategies to increase the reach of your content.
  • Collect the right metrics for success and measure the impact of your work.
  • Make thumbnails, headlines and hashtags.
  • Mobile journalism workflows and quality control.

Yusuf Omar is a multi-award winning journalist and Co-founder of Hashtag Our Stories, a TEDx speaker, former CNN Senior Social Media Reporter on Snapchat and former Mobile Editor at the Hindustan Times in India where he empowered 750 journalists to tell stories with the phones. He has been a foreign correspondent with just his phone since 2010 and covered the Syrian civil war. In 2018 he Co-founded Hashtag Our Stories, a global video publisher focused on people changing their world. They’ve trained communities in over 40 countries to tell stories with their phones and create daily news shows on social media platforms.

This is for anyone with a story to tell or interest in video. Editors, designers, filmmakers, wannabe influencers, journalists and copywriters. Video makes up the majority of the internet’s traffic today, so whatever industry you’re in, this is relevant to you!

Mobile phone with WiFi

Phone Charger :-)

Access to: Facebook, Instagram/Snapchat, QUIK and iMovie (iOS) or Power Director (Android)

First of all, note that this is an asynchronous course. That means there are no live events scheduled at specific times. You can log in to the course and complete activities throughout the week at your own pace, at the times and on the days that are most convenient for you.

Despite its asynchronous nature, there are still structures in place for the duration of the course.

The material is organized into four weekly modules. Each module will be taught by Yusuf Omar and will cover a different topic through videos, presentations, readings and discussion forums. There will be a quiz each week to test the knowledge you've gained through the course materials. The weekly quizzes, and weekly participation in the discussion forums, are the basic requirements for earning a certificate of participation at the end of the course.

This course is very flexible, and if you are behind with the materials, you have the entire length of the course to complete them. We do recommend you complete each of the following before the end of each week so you don’t fall behind:

  • Video lectures
  • Readings and handouts/exercises
  • Participation in the discussion forums
  • Quizzes covering concepts from video lectures and/or readings

A certificate of completion is available for those who meet all of the course requirements and pay online an administrative fee of $30 (thirty U.S. dollars) using a credit card.

No formal course credit of any kind is associated with the certificate. The certificate is awarded by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas to attest to participation in the online course.

To be eligible for the certificate of completion, you must:

  • Listen to the weekly video classes and read the weekly readings.
  • Complete weekly quizzes with a 70% minimum score. (You can retake the quizzes as many times as needed. Only the highest score will be recorded)
  • Create OR reply to at least one discussion forum each week

At the end of the course, an online form will be made available for you to apply for a certificate. Once you have filled out the form and we have verified that you have met the course requirements, the Knight Center will send a message with instructions on how to make your payment. The verification process will take 3 - 5 business days.

Please add the email addresses filipa.rodrigues@utexas.edu and knightcenter@austin.utexas.edu to your address book to ensure you receive emails about the course.




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