Sharp-shooting on a shoestring: Making news with a smartphone

Sharp-shooting on a shoestring: Making news with a smartphone
The explosive growth of smartphones is altering the way news is reported and consumed. Now, media professionals and social media acolytes are producing and delivering high-quality news content on the go.

Smartphones are capable of shooting extraordinary high definition video. They can act as a basic editing suite, enabling an individual to apply professional-looking finishes and instantly distribute their material around the globe. Increasingly, communication professionals are ditching bulky video kits to use this mini mobile media unit to produce high-quality content. The challenge is to overcome the inherent limitations of a smartphone and transform it into the reporter’s ultimate ally.

If you want to transform your smartphone into a sharp-shooting news device, join Michael Peel, the Financial Times Asia correspondent, and David Ohito, digital editor of the Standard Media Group, for a three-day course to learn how to report and film on the move.

Michael will demonstrate and teach the use of the tools he used during his years reporting on the Nigerian oil industry and, more recently, across Asia and the Middle East. Working with David, you will learn to apply these skills on the go and in your newsroom. In a world moving fast toward mobile and immediate-delivery journalism, you will be head and shoulders above the competition.


This course introduces you to the best practices for shooting and producing video on your smartphone and provides a ready-to-go recipe for the ‘newsroom on the move.’ Throughout the three-day course you will develop the knowledge and skills to:

  • Transform your smartphone into a reporting tool and filing device.
  • Develop a story for video.
  • Choose video locations, lighting and audio.
  • Create video that resonates with audiences.
  • Push viral news on social media.
  • Achieve top-class stills and slide shows.

This introductory course will appeal to people looking to gain skills to produce high-quality content using a smartphone. It will be of particular interest to reporters, investigative journalists, new media managers, media professionals, content marketers, communications and PR practitioners, journalism educators, bloggers, web producers and entrepreneurs.

Working in small groups on real stories over this three-day workshop, Michael and David will instruct and mentor you to produce professional quality video stories via your smartphone. They are among the best and most innovative journalists in the business. Let them help you become a standout by investing, early, in this media life-skill of the future.

About the facilitators

michael-peelMichael Peel is Asia regional editor for the Financial Times and author of A Swamp Full of Dollars: Pipelines and Paramilitaries at Nigeria’s Oil Frontier. He has worked with the Financial Times for more than 15 years, from Africa to the Middle East; during that time he reported on both important countries and big themes, among them oil, international corruption and governance. He lives in Bangkok.

david-ohitoDavid Ohito, the digital editor of the Standard Media Group, joins Michael in the AKU classroom. David is a seasoned multimedia journalist and media consultant with deep expertise across all media and platforms. Secretary for programmes for the Kenya Editors’ Guild, a key defender of freedom of the media for which he has won awards, and fellow of the Poynter Institute of Journalism in the US, David is a media trainer and political analyst for the Voice of America, BBC, and Radio France International.

Download Brochure

3 Days
US $1000 (covers tuition and meals for the three-day course)


Michael Peel
Distinguished Visiting Faculty


Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications, 9 West, 7th Floor, Mkungu Cl, Nairobi, Kenya
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This is an introductory course, so no prior video production experience is required. However, applicants must:
Bring a smartphone.
Be comfortable with learning new equipment and software.
Possess basic computer literacy and skills.
Be proficient in English.
Optional: If you have a tripod, microphone and power bank, please bring them along as we want you to be as self-sufficient as possible.

Additional information

Parking is available onsite.
Lunch plus morning and afternoon tea are provided.
Certificates will be issued for attendance and participation in this course.