Charlie Haldeman

The digital home of the genuine rural eclectic.

The vanity of the reporter selfie

MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN about the selfie. Apparently, not enough to discourage journalists from taking them in the worst of circumstances.

Industry blogger Scott Jones at FTVLIVE is on a constant mission to educate his readers. An internet search of “ftvlive selfies” results in ten stories he’s produced in 2018 alone.

CJ&N Vice President of Digital Strategies Steve Schwaid has also weighed in on the problem.

That’s exactly what it is. A problem.

How it started though is probably the result of digital training and good intentions. As broadcast journalists are taught to take ample images with smartphones (in addition to recording video), we’ve been taught to engage with the viewers. Engage with fans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and every other social platform out there. We’ve been told that the more we engage the viewer in our storytelling, the more success we’ll enjoy.

We walk into the people’s lives on the worst day of their lives, more often than not.

Even when we don’t directly engage those impacted by crime, disaster, or infliction; we’re often nearby working to try and tell the story at hand. That’s usually where we forget that, among all the training to engage and provide ample content, that it’s not about us. It’s about them.

Source: Pinterest

Selfies are not inherently bad.

They can add perspective. We have to be careful though.

It’s the shootings, house fires, crime scenes, natural disasters, and a laundry list of other stories where selfies are an extremely poor choice.

Remember the old saying? Know your audience.

In the case of selfies, the advice should be…

Know your story, your surroundings, and those around you.

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