Health and safety guidance for journalists typically focuses on traditional issues like working in dangerous locations, or using desktop computers. Few resources tackle the issues raised by frequent use of mobile devices for work. One exception is a new ebook on Instagram by one of my students, Robyn Bateman. In this extract, Robyn outlines the potential side effects of frequent mobile phone use and techniques to combat that.
I’m interested in Instagram, but I’m also interested in the potential health implications for mobile journalists or, indeed, anyone regularly using a mobile phone to create content out in the field. Including Instagrammers.
I suffer terribly from this. Bought on by bad posture and enhanced by a lot of computer and mobile phone use, I get everything from a numb hand and arm, to tension in my jaw, knotted shoulders, dizzy and tired spells.
So I did some research — and the good news is our mobile phones aren’t to blame: we are. We don’t have to ditch smartphones for personal or professional use (or both), we just have to change the way we use them. Continue reading
The MA in Online Journalism which I established at Birmingham City University in 2009 is now available via distance learning.
The MA in Online Journalism by distance learning is primarily aimed at people who are already working in a content- or technology-related role.
Students can use their current work as part of their studies, or use their studies to explore ideas and skills that they have been unable to explore as part of their role.
The course requires self-discipline and motivation, and I look for evidence of that in the application process. You will be communicating regularly both with myself and other students on both the distance learning and ‘with attendance’ versions of the course, so there will be plenty of support, but like any Masters level course you will be expected to learn independently with guidance to develop your own areas of expertise.
I’ve actually been teaching the distance learning version of the course since last September, but hadn’t publicised the fact (I wanted to ‘soft-launch’ the first year with a small group first, and use agile principles to continue to develop it).
But now the secret’s out: The Guardian reported on the course last month, and student Robyn Bateman has written about her experience of studying via distance learning in Wannabe Hacks this week.
I’ll be blogging further about how the distance learning course has changed how I teach the MA as a whole, and changes in education more generally, but that’s for another post. In the meantime, I’m particularly welcoming applications from individuals with good experience as a working journalist, or as a web developer, or who are running or considering launching their own journalism enterprise.