Telling Stories Through Instagram

Yet again, there seems to be another platform for telling newsworthy stories: Instagram Stories. Similar to Snapchat, Instagram stories let’s you record video or take pictures, draw on them, add filters and stickers. It gives the ability to be creative and share information. However, of all the different platforms to share “news” this may be my least favorite.

I think Instagram Stories work great for sharing information that’s not hard news. Instagram allows only 10second videos to to be shot/uploaded which is not ideal in telling important information. You can also use text on a picture to give your audience more information but with this you need to be careful of what you’re writing. Can’t give too much information because your viewer might not read it all before the time is up, you must be mindful of adding too many emojis or using the wrong color font or adding too much highlight because then it’s too distracting from your story.

If you’re conducting an interview you have to either tell your interviewer to keep their answers short record them on your phone and then cut it down. When you’re in the moment and need to send out your info in a timely manner, there might not be enough time to go back and forth between apps editing content.

Your other option would be to continue the app in another frame, but unlike Snapchat, there is no option to keep it looping so you have to start a new frame every 10seconds- not ideal. One advantage Instagram has over its competitor is that it can reach a much larger audience. Your content can be viewed by anyone that has an account as oppose to limiting it to just your followers. Also, hard important news shouldn’t be limited to ten seconds or have cute emojis on them, takes away from the story. So while I think Instagram Stories can work for telling fun, upbeat, feature stories, it does not work for hard news.

I decided for my story to cover an event that every New Yorker is aware of- especially if you’re from the Bronx. The New York Yankees have made he playoffs and were playing against the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series. These games are crucial for one main reason: whoever wins goes to the World Series! And most New Yorkers and Yankee fans have been waiting a long eight years for this moment again.

Maybe because I’m a student and have no credentials that it seems harder to randomly stop people and ask them for an interview without them looking at your all weird or maybe because everyone was so high from the win but many were not so forthcoming to being on camera.

Also, covering a live event is the kind of news you should put out as it happens not save and upload later , which is why those short videos don’t always work, need more time. While covering a live event I was more focused on uploading the content that I would forget to add things such as highlights or emojis or I would type my text and be focused on making it attention grabbing I would miss the action and possible good content I could have been recording.

Overall, Instagram Stories are great to vlog, do features, or just share your own personal fun moments, but not to tell long form news stories.