Selfie Journalism And The Future Of News

Selfie Journalism And The Future Of News

radical Islamist enter stage right… my name is Yusuf Omar and I run the biggest mobile journalism newsroom in the world i’m here to tell you that the results of the u.s. elections were right under your noses and you missed it and you will continue to miss the best stories unless you change the way that you actually look for stories traditional editors are blaming social media for what they call fake news aren’t they? social media is saying actually traditional media are too leftist, they are too liberal, they are too white. They are out of touch They are out of touch with real people and real situations that are happening on the ground the fact is there’s more perspectives and angles than ever before and that’s a good thing there’s value to everything that’s on the internet even the lies social media can help us gauge the present and help predict the future and I’m gonna tell you that from brexit to trump it was all there if you were looking in the right places i want you guys to check out the google trend report on the week of the elections the amount of people that searched vote Trump was much much higher than voting Hillary Clinton or anything else but it seems that the pundits the commentators they didn’t do the most basic thing they didn’t google it, seems so obvious to me if we have a look at the top five most shared and talked-about stories on facebook again they were all right leaning totally fake but nobody was looking, who was actually talking about what on facebook at the time and while we were all watching television we watching these news anchors with these like weather report style blue and red state saying these are the swing states who was watching snapchat because half the youth in the US have snapchat so they were able to aggregate the opinions and voices of millions of people i got to see young black woman crying in bed I got to see triumphant white supporters doing weights on the night that the elections were revealed it seems that if you’re not seeing all of this play out you are simply looking in the wrong places we need to start listening start listening to your audience and some people already are some of you in the house CNN for example they were covering the elections for people under the age of 18 they use an app called qik they were delivering your news using GIFS and memes and if you don’t know any of these things are we’ve got a bigger problem here today in return what did they get they got thousands and thousands of voicemail messages people telling them how they felt about elections on the ground aj+ did exactly the same thing or a similar thing they launched something called mila which is a facebook messenger bot, it sent your videos into your facebook Messenger really personal and in return you got selfies coming through from the audience you’ve got to start to understand what people were actually saying because they were listening but it seems that even the media organizations are out of touch with their own innovations because I didn’t see any of these things appear on the major broadcasters I didn’t see any of these messages apps appear on the main feeds i believe the future of journalism is selfie journalism i think the mobile phone is the most intimate, raw way to tell a story and it is by far the most powerful diets device that we have access to and what you call a mojo a mobile journalist and I’d like to think that you all are as well. We are the cheapest guys in the newsroom’s I’ve been to Syria I’ve been to all the war zones and I’ve done it with my phone and i am not the most experienced journalist. I’m not the best I was the cheapest guy in the newsroom you could send me anywhere and bring you back 360 photos GIFS, Memes, tweets, retweets, blog post you could do it all. Broadcasting shooting and editing from one device. The mobile phone in your pocket really is everything that you need I think today’s phone has more computing power than the Apollo missions that landed on the moon. Since nine eleven two things happened i automatically became a terrorist when i arrived at airports and these big broadcast cameras were no longer used. this guy I’m gonna come to you think I can do it, you can do hmmm and big broadcast cameras haven’t been breaking the biggest news stories it’s been mobile phones by 2020 we’re gonna have 5g Internet it is going to be faster than you could ever imagine and I believe my generation are gonna broadcast every single moment of their lives live all the time almost george orwell his greatest fear with what that would have a big brother surveillance state that’s watching over us all the time in actuality I’m the one holding the camera our greatest fears that nobody’s watching us we overshare because it empowers us I go swipe right at Tinder and find my next love i scroll down linkedin and I find my next job but it’s also given us access to the very best and worst of humanity look at the way we could live broadcast on facebook as young innocent black men were gunned down the United States it was mobile phones and tweets that gave rise to the black lives matter and the Arab Spring movement i was in Cairo during the Arab Spring covering it with my mobile phone if the pen was mightier than the sword i really believe the mobile phone is our atomic agent of change i was a correspondent in south africa during the ‘fees must fall’ and ‘Zuma must fall’ protests as thousands and thousands of young people took to the streets to fight for access to their basic human rights I wanted to tell the story and 360 degrees as you can see on the screen so people wouldn’t accuse us of not showing all sides of the story you could literally walk around there i am doing my thing we can pull up the audio if you can hear it and you can look around and look at the audience and nobody could say we weren’t showing all the perspectives we weren’t showing me all the angles you the audience were in control of the narrative you can decide exactly what you’re looking for but there was one particular image that came about during this story that turned the youth against the traditional press it was a image of a young white man in a car his face bloodied fighting for his life as violent protesters with trying to beat him up that’s the story that the newspapers went for that’s what they led on all the front pages but they didn’t hear all the voices they didn’t hear what had actually happened it was only when social media came and told us the other angle that this young man actually land into protests with his car and that they were basically stopping him from entering other people that we got the full story the thing is these protesters didn’t need the media anymore they could use their hundred and forty characters to mobilize millions of people onto the streets of South Africa without a traditional media they didn’t need you anymore they didn’t work powerful and essentially when they ran out of air time and data on their phones to tell their stories what they do a crowdsource they managed to get the community to help them out so with billions and billions of people now broadcasting their lives in real time I think the journalist role has changed and the media’s role has changed curation is the new creation we were in delhi recently I work for the hindustan times as I said we’re doing the story of Education. young people trying to get from school to university and it’s the same story every year they need 99.9 percent to get in and they still don’t get in it is really really difficult so how could we make the story more interesting and more relevant and more real what we brought six students in and we train them how to snapchat the most stressful six weeks of their lives trying to get into University and what we ended up with was the most intimate look at their sex lives their politics with family at all these dynamics that you would never tell the big broadcast camera with a boom mic and a light on your face you have a look at now six schools igniting dreams heartwarming tricker will be over and i’ll tell you that the best stories come from the first person sources and the best sources that we have available today are selfies it’s the most obvious thing it seems but it seems that publishes are not the ones that are most in touch with this movement its the platform’s many of you guys remember a few months before the election this young man tried to scale Trump Towers with suction mount attached to his arms in New York it was the most riveting content and why because they had the two elements that live television and live Facebook broadcast love it had suspense what’s gonna happen next is gonna fall down how we gonna get him and add engagement had the comments section with people trying to work this out but snapchat played it a little bit different for me they represent the future of news all they did was set up a geolocation get the snaps of everybody that are snapping and aggregate those and they end up having more truths more perspective more angles and i ended up seeing the guy inside and see his face I wasn’t a telephoto lens looking up at the guy gave me a totally new perspective they did the same thing when they went to Mosel second biggest city in Iraq it’s the most realistic story personal correspondence I’ve ever seen of a war zone cutting from doctors to teachers to nurses to students to the correspondence this wasn’t a television anchor saying here we are coming to you live from the frontline of Syria this was people telling you the story was the most intimate look at war zone and i’ve ever seen and see how this all comes together and how social media and its apps like snapchat beat traditional media at the elections game. We have to look at how they cover the u.s. elections. They looked at the real stories and told by real Americans at homes with their selfie cameras right looking into a mirror this was intimate and personal and it wasn’t as simple as a far-right racist and far-left wealthy people it was a lot more detail if you look around and up and below there’s so much intricacy in those stories but it seems traditional media is not designed for those deeper stories we are designed for universal stories massive generalizations Islamist radical these massive terms that absolutely mean nothing we need to get down to the granular level to speak to people and their selfies to understand what’s actually happening on the ground for me selfie journalism represent hyperlocal stories and hyper hyper local is what mobile journalist to we have access to get the parts of the world with mobile phones that traditional newsrooms just can’t find ways of getting to people know more today they made it ever before to so we need new forms of storytelling that have every perspective every possible angle this is where traditional media seriously fail they are trapped in labor-intensive slow and expensive newsgathering processes that are quite frankly irrelevant to my generation. so traditionally media use of traditional media can’t be as intimate and aggregating as the selfie cameras as the platforms and they certainly can’t win the breaking news game either and i don’t think they should try to it’s expensive and it’s boring to play the breaking news game they should be looking to the stories that are not making it up to the top of your social stream going deeper looking for the actual quality news we can’t keep blaming social media for Trump and Brexit these are simply platforms that are reflecting the opinion, the sentiment that was happening on the ground i’ll go as far said that social media isn’t the problem traditional media is. It’s unable to accept that you no longer have monopoly on information and power i’ll say that if you embrace social media platforms you actually able to help debunk the fake and make sense of the truth let’s learn from the fake news if we look at the right-wing website break part that they have more stories shared and CNN Huffington Post what do they do right why did so many people watch their stories read their stories because they had opinion that context they help people understand the world the audience felt that they will begin to engage that they will be informed the ultimate bit another we worry i realized that we still don’t get it is that what a traditional media doing right now they’re saying facebook need to change their algorithms they need to take down all right post they need to band fake news they even want to come up with a face book editor we even listening to ourselves this is the form of censorship people we have we have the same media that criticized facebook where they going into China for coming up with censorship tools like old facebook thought popped up but you shouldn’t you shouldn’t send to people but we’re perfectly happy to censor any voices that don’t go without status quo i would say quite the opposite if we’re gonna fight these echo chambers we need more opinions we need more voices we start listening to contact hypothesis states that contact increases empathy isolation kills it, so i would say let’s make journalism great again let’s do it without taking control let’s do it by listening to our audience that maybe all of those people that have been trolled that have been talking in our comment section YouTube and Twitter like oh these lunatics they are they they’re ruining our comment section maybe they’re real human beings with real stories on the other side of the echo chamber may be that the same people that are voting for Brexit and Trump thank you. thank you very much and need you to come and take a seat. Nigel Farage has been listening to you intently but I know that he’s now got to go to another meeting in a certain city called Washington DC I’m just a terrorist, purely a terrorist so ladies and gentlemen can we thank Nigel Farage for giving his time to come to News Exchange. Bye so just before we go back to the panel and to the discussion we were having before Yusuf can i just pick up some of what you were saying there…I was wowed by your presentation and then i thought yeah but this isn’t journalism curating selfies isn’t journalism I mean it’s interesting i’m glad you’re doing it I would die rather than do it I don’t want to watch it either but it sure isn’t journalism journalism is finding things out and reporting them journalism is not collating people’s privately recorded opinions I couldn’t disagree more Did you not see the Mosel war correspondence, we’re tired of watching some middle-aged gentleman from a western country telling us what’s happening in Iraq we want to hear from people in the ground journalism is whatever people are talking about why do we have to have a middleman between it why can’t we hear directly from people on the ground in these war zones in humanitarian crisis But Yusuf the guy that you showed is Alex marquardt who is the Middle East correspondent for ABC News yeah so all that snapchat did was to curate the content that our correspondence, our investment…there they not just show him as one of many voice which is right thing to do the right to show a far left a far-right show the correspondent that he wasn’t there..then literally the clip that you showed was of Alex if he wasn’t there..the Middle East is snapchat’s third biggest market there were tens of thousands of other people there i think by showing him they were doing the right thing they were actually showing you a holistic view this is the Western perspective of what’s happening this is not. I…I think it would be unfair not to show his is report in that package but I suppose the Teenie but please…know know know i was just gonna go to the front row because there’s a other people that you mentioned also in your presentation that are doing something quite similar i want to go to you Sarah from the from AK plus what do you think what yusuf is telling us is that the future, does he have the future of journalism right and do i was going to say the rest of us have it wrong i think there are parts of it that that are correct i mean if you think about what we’ve been talking about Millennials overwhelmingly are skeptical of traditional and mainstream news outlets so I mean going back to thinking about a I mean we’re journalists but at the same time we’re human beings we have beliefs we have opinions and that’s going to come through so i think we should be looking at objective news with a little bit of suspicion as opposed to these voices from come the ground that are telling you things that are a maybe from a more opinionated perspective there’s no a pretense of neutrality and so you’re getting these authentic voices and they’re adding to the conversation and we need to be taking those at those opinions into account. But it goes what you can’t do is assess whether any of its true or not I would disagree entirely get on that I mean if you look at snapchat, the ability to add jeera filters to add all the elements i think we have to use technology to help us in that respect if 600 people here tweet that Yusuf Omar is talking here right now then my virtue of that we can look at how many of them are verified and reach a conclusion on that so I think they’re absolutely steps that we can take to verify whether these selfie journalists are correct. I want to pick up one of the examples that you used about South Africa and fees must fall and bring in their Mappy Malanga who’s in the front row as well from eNCA in South Africa more your reflections when you were watching that presentation about the differences between what social media was doing in that situation on what you in a more traditional media were doing. i just want to cooperate on the first thing. When Mr. Farage was doing a presentation there was constant use of anti-immigration there’s another word for that, it is xenophobia i think we’re too polite to name the thing what it is and I find it quite outstanding that country that for centuries colonizing all these other countries would be offended if generation from those countries can pick and collect their debt so I find it quite astounding that we should call these recordings as anti-immigration when is actually it is xenophobia and it is another form of racism if you’ll forgive me you just expressed an opinion but move on that’s fine what about South Africa by this picture yeah but on anyway he said I don’t need your expert opinion what I working with obviously you don’t have to which is a great idea i believe that people telling using and self is I don’t think journalism i think that that’s why we are in the problem that we are, we’re so eager to get a new audience that we start using sound bite journalism that we don’t do proper news stories because we want to attract the millennials what is what we ended up with we ended up with populist. People who can give us quick sound bite and we end up going with it. but only if you’ll forgive me i’m making the same mistake and do feel free to come back when I say something about you to the two gentlemen at the left I think the gentleman from the left was making was saying is we must do these things because it produces conclusions we don’t like so you call it xenophobia he accused him of a form of racism we are only interested in doing journalism providing it produces outcomes with which we’re comfortable you see, you know tell me if i’m wrong but i think the basis of my journalist videos I’m not here to predict the outcome i’m here to report I need to ask questions and people must report and in reporting was called things when they are we mustn’t use certain language where that’s what you think that they are. That’s not what they are, that’s what you think that they are But it is xenophobia if that’s an opinion it’s not an opinion it is xenophobia it is xenophobia Fine okay if you want to come in on that comes now that’s alright right now we just make a broader put okay Sarah I think Sarah wanted to come here at this point Larry I was just going to say if you’re exploiting fears if you’re advocating for violence you know you’re you’re you’re preying on racial racial tensions, ethnic tensions and religious tensions that exist. absolutely i mean so do you think that this whole, you know the fact that many people in our business want to be objective, neutral not you know, call out anybody by bad names is that a wrong choice actually. well the thing is that the thing is is I think when we’re striving for balance; we trump up threats that are not nearly the same on the other side so this this false equivalency this false narrative does a disservice to the public. You see, i think what’s intriguing here in this session and we won’t resolve it in the next few minutes the whole point of this session was to get this argument clear and to get it out and to have it which is why I’m glad we’ve got a bit more lively there are two responses there two responses the guy’s not here anymore it seems to me one response is to say he’s got a point we were less in touch with parts of the electorate then he was and we need to find ways in the way that Charlotte was saying they’re trying to do in France to do that. The other responses to say no no he’s a xenophobe we must label it as such we must label him a racist we must say that what he says is untrue and that’s the way we deal with him that seems to be this conference has got really quite an interesting conversation for two days in the bars and over the meals really about which of those John and then inshallah well you know I..I would, we talked about facts and actually the facts are clear that in the UK 51 percent of the population voted for a position that not a single mainstream political party adopted and so you know the mainstream politicians were out to touch with the public and i would argue he does have a point that we failed to recognize that in the United States you know the actual majority of people may have voted for Hillary Clinton but Donald Trump became the president and you saw Matt Dowd our chief political strategists say 95-96 percent probability that Hillary Clinton that is a fact we got it wrong so you know I’m afraid whatever you make whatever the position you may have on Nigel Farage or Donald Trump they have a point we got it wrong and we have to face up to them. Charlotte you are next not only as speaker but as a person covering this facing the problem I mean not we weren’t the only ones getting it wrong I mean these people and on Trump and I think the Brexit…advocates also got it wrong they were totally unprepared They w’re out of touch by and large but you will have this choice wouldn’t you the reason was so fascinated by the pen in this contest is you will instead to have the choice that i just presented to people how often will you want to say in your coverage, actually what Marine Le Pen has just said is xenophobia or it’s wrong and how often will you want to say X percent of the french population seem to agree with this anxiety and this concern there is a balancing act that you now have to to perform I mean Marie Le Pen is a bit different her father was very much like Trump like he was getting influenced by being provocative by creating a buzz by saying outrageous things all the time and she’s very different because her speech is a lot more polished and a lot less controversial but every time she says something we have to report it and then we have to get her back to the fact you’re right you’re right there is a loop between facts and provocation but but when I asked you just before what you would do differently now we’ve heard from Yusuf who suggests that we are out of touch because we just don’t you know we have the wrong people reporting things in the wrong places basically also. Because we are listening to our own voices yeah and and and no but what you said to me you would do differently is you would be fact-checking more I mean is that really it…no not no it’s not the the end of it all we also have a social media team and for example i remember talking to them during the attacks last November in in Paris you know our social media team was looking at everything that was coming out and so much of it was rubbish so I agree social media is not news social media can be easily manipulated and and you need to look into it you have want to be present on it to make sure that you do reach an audience that is not interested in traditional news anymore but you also have to make sure that what’s there is is right and not just be an echo chamber for…and what Yusuf is doing his presentation it seems to me from where i work at the BBC the whole point of the BBC is that people come to it to get a position to get someone who is going to tell you you know these are all the different positions i’m giving you something that I’m not judging i’m giving you the facts and presenting them and it seems to me yusuf the problem with your position is that you’ve got lots of different views and I’m left none the wiser as an audience which one is right and in the end the audience has got to come together BBC ABC in America to switch on and say okay give me this balance absolutely i think BBC’s place should be if this is amount of noise which represents all these selfies to make sense of that noise to find the voices that are relevant but who does that for you that’s the press’s job that’s the media’s job to make sense of it all and I i think this idea that social media is easily manipulated traditionally has been manipulating for years I haven’t why don’t we go to a democratization of media wikipedia is not a perfect example but it’s a it’s a system that policed by the community they determine what is and isn’t real and they work with that it’s exactly the same thing let’s open it up to public let’s stop thinking that we’re the only ones that can manipulate the news nobody else can okay we’ve got just a couple of minutes left before we need to to wind up we’re gonna wind up by hearing from our audiences incidentally that gives you about 20 or 30 seconds each just to give us a thought a take away thought to go on surely you look like you’re raring to go so why do you.. I’m not really what would you because in a sense I think what’s been striking about your contributions you’ve been watching this they got been through this already yeah so what’s your you give everybody to drive your crazy so one sentence of advice then we’re in the post truth age and I think we are not only going to have to defend journalism but we are going to defend the truth as we know it wonderful ladies in front made a point calling the things for what they are and the balance you know keeping the balance the obsession of keeping balance will be less and less important when it comes to defending our jobs and defending the truth because the ground rules has changed it’s like you’re playing a baseball and the guy is targeting the ball at your head and then you say this cannot happen you cannot do that and then he says but you fell down didn’t you yeah so one point John can we move to you just recorded what would you take from this that in a different era requires a different way for us to do our jobs but that actually the secret maybe to double down on journalism and to go out and talk to people and to hold people to account and i do think that the the way through this is for us to go back to basics and for us to be inquisitive and investigative and just to do our jobs better Katie and to listen more i’m struck actually in this room how many of the audience much of the audience gasped when nigel farage spoke and you’re missing the point he won the argument so you need to listen more. how interesting well talking of listening more we have listened and have enormously grateful for their contribution today to people who are in the business we’ve listened to nigel farage and grateful for him making the effort to come here today and i think it is striking that he came here because he wants us to do our jobs better not because he came here to tell us that we’re all liars and that we were corrupt but the right place to end this discussion is with the people that Katie I think Riley says we’ve not been listening enough too let’s listen to the voices of our viewers or listeners and our readers very unfortunate of each load of crap never never watch the news things happen in my house we don’t matter to make that’s now I like the amazing right now I don’t really follow the mainstream media because I find it quite biased so I prefer to follow on facebook to offer of people in a fortnight and travel to your videos to see what’s really happening I do trust the news and when i’m at university I do have it on the corner from that are meeting the newspapers it’s the only way that we can find out what is going on so we do tend to trust it like the news but when I drone on about Clinton and Trump who are not English country happening and watching his every day morning and evenings and is very informative beneath which news if you’ve got social media doesn’t really appeal to me watching the news I don’t watch TV much of I don’t feel the need to reality TV and the big legal stuff like that feels a lot in the media and it’s not always what I think is the most important very skeptical escapes very critical to the news i don’t believe they’re the report us too much I think they’re very manipulating sometimes things going on in Syria or Russia or something when it just look at the Danish news and you cannot find anything about it so i would like more news actually like in general more important news we’re talking about the news guys all your needs gas well I don’t know you’re alright i guess you have to watch all of it good you have to pick up a lot of dog who can sometimes you find a diamond in the bottom of it they delivery pretty rare I trust some of the media I don’t trust them to be as skeptical and is analytical as they should about the things that really make a difference i don’t really watch the news and stuff and I don’t think they understand our point of view all the journalists center in new york city they think the whole world revolves around New York City and so that’s what they talk about they don’t think about the little folks in the little rock I think this was an absolutely outstanding start to our conversation amazing and i would like to give special credit to some people who made this happen Jonathan Monroe who believed in this idea from the absolute beginning and said we’re going to go big or go home and we did and also chris gibson of BBC News who produced this session and are unbelievably talented moderators Tina Gauchos and Nick Robinson I think they did an amazing job and all of our panelists are front row let’s give them all a big hand please thank you before we go to our break we’re going to have a 20-minute coffee break and we really mean it 20 minutes please because there’s just unbelievable stuff coming all day i have two things to tell you one is we are now trending in the UK in Denmark and in Germany news exchange 16 hashtag news exchange 16 were seriously on the map and the u.s. is going to wake up pretty soon and I’m going for the trending in the u.s. too so we’re doing really really well there when we come back we will have a speaker who it’s very interesting are talking about very very different things but ultimately we’re talking about the same thing who are we listening to what are we listening to what language are we using what’s the deeper story whose story is being told who is a terrorist how do we tell a terrorist story we will come back and we will hear from the incredible Jill Hicks Jill was the last person to be pulled alive from the London terrorist bombing she was pulled out of the subway out of it out of a tube at russell square in london and she will tell us about how to tell a terrorism story we’ll see you in 20 minutes thank you again


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