Last week I wrote about fake news, this week about its opposite. This is very real news, as captured by bystanders on the spot – curated and given app-wide exposure by Snapchat. This is quite likely to be how our children will get a lot of their news going forward, so I want to be sure you don’t miss what was at the bottom of New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo’s important article about Snapchat.
This isn’t people making stuff up to make money by gaming the system (search and social media’s algorithms), like what bowled us over this election season. This is reporters hired by Snapchat to assemble into “in-depth pieces” bits of video shot by users who are in the middle of unfolding news, Manjoo reports.
“The company calls these Live Stories, and they have been transformative, unlike any other news presentation you can find online. Every day, Snapchat offers one or several stories about big and small events happening in the world, including football games, awards shows and serious news,” he writes.
“For instance, this summer, while the rest of the media were engulfed by Hurricane Trump, Snapchat’s news team spent days following the devastating floods in Louisiana. That in itself was unusual, but Snap’s presentation was also groundbreaking: Rather than showing the overhead shots or anchor stand-ups that are conventional on TV news, Snapchat offered video from inside people’s houses, from shelters, from schools. It mixed the macrostory of an impending natural disaster and the government’s response to it with the microtragedies of personal loss, and even the lighter moments of humor and boredom in between.”