The Birth of Selfie Journalism

In Journalism by UFSocial Staff

by Justin Kings, UFSocial Contributing Professor

When you create that Instagram Story of your struggle into university or work or that Snapchat Story from that must see concert, did you realise you’re in fact creating a new form of journalism – Selfie Journalism?

I first saw this term being used by a front runner in the use of Snapchat in news, the mobile editor of India’s Hindustan Times, Omar Yusuf. He helped young women tell stories of sexual abuse by empowering them to speak into their phones, and select Snapchat Lenses to disguise their identity. He believed that powering this storytelling via the selfie felt more familiar and comfortable to his subjects. Crucially it put them in control.

We are discovering that there are some powerful news story tellers using the Stories feature on Instagram and Snapchat. They create immediate and intimate portraits of their experiences, shot from their point of view, full of context and color. A coherent and focused story being told in this way requires an advanced understanding of the tools and what they demand. Recording compelling installments of content 10 seconds at a time is a lot harder than you may think but it is appealing to social media users drawn to this unfiltered and authentic view of the world.

One of the students on my Social Media and News class, David Camba, created this selfie journalism account of the Epcot Food and Drink Festival. I hope you’re hungry?

About the Author

Justin worked in broadcasting for more than 25 years and for the past six, he specialized in social media. He is Lead Trainer in Social Media for the EUROVISION ACADEMY – the learning and development arm of the world’s largest association of broadcasters, EBU.

About the Author

UFSocial Staff