Students of Asian College of Journalism collaborated with counterparts in Taiwan, U.K. and the U.S. to publish news content using new media tools.

Top journalism schools in the U.K., U.S., India, and Taiwan recently experimented with Mobile Journalism, an alternative to conventional newsroom practices.

Students from Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai; California State University-Northridge, US; University of Newcastle, UK; and National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan, created, modified and published news content on the go, taking journalism to a new level by opening up avenues for deeper engagement through multimedia story-telling.

The main aim of the initiative was to transcend the age old newsroom setup and show that a newsroom can ‘pop up’ wherever news happens.

Simple tools/apps on mobile devices can help create stories that can be made accessible to the world through social networks.

Under the broad theme of ‘Economic Inequality’, ACJ students covered news stories related to children, elderly, caste, gender, slums, LGBTs and disability — issues often under-reported by the mainstream media.

Students tweeted their stories using the #livepoverty on Twitter.

The hashtag was trending at number three on Twitter in cricket-crazy India, where the top story of the day was Sachin’s retirement from the game.

“The scale and depth of the reportage was indicative of the vast potential of mobile journalism.

Equipped with an Internet-enabled mobile phone or tablet, students harnessed the potential of social networks to draw attention to issues that need a lot more attention than they are getting now.

Stories, many first-hand, were published from the field,” said Project Coordinator Priya Rajsekar.

The event kicked off with ACJ students starting their coverage at 9 a.m. IST.

At 5 p.m. IST, they handed over the event to the University of Newcastle. California State University students wrapped up the event.

“Live reporting using mobile devices and social media apps was an interesting experience. Looking at the work by students in foreign universities, we got a deeper insight into the global nature of poverty,” said Piyush Rai, a new media student at ACJ.

“I was at the command centre, where I curated the tweets sent by reporters using tools we learnt in class. The most difficult part was that we had so many things to say but we only had 140 characters,” said Sukriti Gumber, another student.

The project demonstrated the impact of New Media on journalism in general, and the ongoing digital disruption to the traditional form of journalism — more akin to an assembly-line production unit.

The writer is a student at Asian College of Journalism.