Follow Friday: Mobile-First Journalist Dan McGarvey

Photo" Dan McGarvey - CBC Calgary

After taking a break from journalism and working in corporate communications, Dan McGarvey joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Calgary, Alberta. Just over three years ago, McGarvey set up his one-man, roving reporter operation. He spends most of his time in the northeast part of the city, covering underserved and immigrant communities.

In an interview with, McGarvey explained that he pitched the idea of embedding himself as a reporter in the field while interviewing for CBC Calgary, but it took a year or so before the idea to become reality.

The new approach revealed the importance of cultivating a relationship with the local population and building trust between the broadcaster and its audience. It is an effort that has changed the nature of his reporting.

He provides a behind-the-scenes look at his “pop-up bureau” in this two-part thread, including a colleague working with a First Nation community.

Like most mobile journalists, McGarvey’s work provides an array of story types, including web, television, radio, and social. He typically develops a few stories a week to be distributed across the range of media, working with multiple producers and a desk editor depending on an individual story treatment.

Like all MoJos, he repackages stories for multiple platforms. This piece from the fall was shot with an iPhone and prepared for the web, television, and social media.

Working as a mobile journalist has changed the dynamic between McGarvey and the audience he serves. Working with a mobile phone allows him to get into the middle of things and is far less intimidating to sources. It allows him to get back to the most simple form of journalism, going into a community and asking the community what is important to them and what the press might be missing about them.

To learn more, follow Dan McGarvey on the following platforms.

Twitter – @DanMcGarvey
Facebook – @danmcgarveycbc

MoJo, short for mobile journalism, is redefining the news industry across the globe as journalists increasingly leverage the power, creativity, and technology available with the smartphone to produce and publish media storytelling for distribution across a range of platforms. 

This series will highlight reporters leading the field of mobile journalists.

Fred Haas

Fred Haas is currently a high school English and journalism teacher in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. He has also taught media production courses and served as a technology integration coordinator. He advises student production of online and occasional print publication for HHS Press. You can find him on Twitter @akh003.

Fred Haas has 11 posts and counting. See all posts by Fred Haas

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