Dr Ivo Burum’s professional life today revolves largely around mobile journalism, or mojo for short. Ever since he ran his first courses in 2010, the award-winning television writer, director, producer and journalist has taught participants as diverse as indigenous communities in Australia’s Northern Territory and students of journalism in China. He speaks at international conferences and runs www.smartmojo.com, where he promotes mojo philosophies, skills and technologies. His mojo workshops are in high demand at major media organisations, journalism institutions and universities teaching journalism. In 2015 Dr Burum ran the first workshops to include the new intelligent Sennheiser AVX systems for cameras, 2016 will see him beginning another round of mojo workshops that will take him to Myanmar, Jordan, Norway and Sweden.
“I heard about AVX from a number of industry websites. Rumors were that Sennheiser would release a new smaller professional wireless audio system and combo kit. I immediately thought that this could be perfect for mobile journalists,” said Ivo Burum, who has more than thirty years of experience in the TV and media business. “I felt that its small size, solid build and especially its easy pairing system, made it ideal for mobile journalists, who don’t want to have to do an engineering degree to learn to master the equipment side! So I tried out a system during my previous courses in Norway and Sweden.”
Response from the course participants was positive throughout. Rune Fredriksen, a journalist from NRK in Fredrikstad, Norway, was one of the first on the mojo course to use the AVX. His immediate comment was ‘Awesome – it just works’. Ivo Burum found this to be a fairly universal response: “All journalists who used it, especially loved that it paired easily.”
Jim Rune Bjorvand, a video journalist from FVN in Kristiansand, who used the system on a very windy day said, “I was surprised how good the sound quality was. Even though it (the bodypack) was placed on the person I was filming, you could easily hear the people he was talking to. And I really liked the lightweight receiver. Perfect when you work with an iPhone when you want things to be lightweight.”
“The omni directional spread of the lapel microphone is ideal when a subject that is moving starts talking with the journalist,” says Ivo Burum. “Our distance test showed the wireless range was effective to more than 35 meters, through closed doors and even down three flights of stairs.”
Henrik Meidell, a journalist and editor working at Netavisen, an Oslo-based news house, thought it was excellent in traffic, “This was my debut as a mojo and I found it useful to have the AVX as it worked really well outside. I stood in the middle of a traffic jam and still the sound was amazing”.
“Journalists love the easy pairing system because they need to switch between bodypack and hand-held options very quickly,” said Ivo Burum.
Sound is at least as important as the pictures
For Ivo Burum, the importance of sound cannot be overestimated. “In my courses, I emphasise that sound is at least as important as the pictures. It’s our first sense, developed when we are still in the womb, and no other sense can touch us more directly and deeper than hearing, which also influences us on a subconscious level. Sound not only adds information, but also signals emotion, establishes atmosphere, location and increases quality. Strong audio can turn a good video into a better one, and a great video into a masterpiece.”
During Dr Burum’s courses, participants learn to use the smartphone to move beyond creating fragmented user-generated content (UGC) to producing, editing and publishing user-generated stories (UGS), from location, using just their smartphone. The focus is on storytelling, maintaining journalistic DNA and identifying relevant and helpful technology.
“My vision is to help people change the world one story at a time. To create a less marginalized voice by enabling all people to participate in a purposeful dialogue in the public sphere, by using more democratised media skills,” says Ivo Burum. “It’s important that audio manufacturers are catering to users who do not necessarily have a high level of expertise in wireless audio or audio capture in general. This enables a focus on the story, and with the right skills potentially results in a professional level of audio recorded on smartphones. The aim is to bridge the techno skills gap by potentially enabling relevant equipment and skills for a more diverse group of people at grass roots levels.”
Vorm geven aan de sound van morgen en voor zijn klanten unieke klankervaringen tot stand brengen… Dat is het doel waarrond wereldwijd alle medewerkers en partners van Sennheiser zich verenigen. De onderneming is opgericht in 1945 en uitgegroeid tot een van ’s werelds toonaangevende producenten van koptelefoons, microfoons en draadloze zendersystemen. Met zijn 21 verkoopfilialen en partnerrelaties van vele jaren is de groep actief in ruim 50 landen. Daarnaast telt hij nog eens eigen productiefaciliteiten in Duitsland, Ierland, Roemenië en de VS. Sinds 2013 staat met Daniel Sennheiser en Dr. Andreas Sennheiser de derde generatie van de familie aan het hoofd van de onderneming. In 2017 genereerde de Sennheiser-groep een omzet van in totaal € 667,7 miljoen.