By KERRIE HECKEL
Last summer a wave of protests occurred in Brazil. These protests resulted
in a group of “indie journalists” coming together to report the events under the name Ninja (an acronym that stands for Independent Narratives Journalism and Action in Portuguese).
The group started gaining a lot of attention for their unscripted and uncut videos as well as pictures, which put reporters in the shoes of the protesters.
Ninja’s photos show what the police barricade looks like from ground level and they are close enough to see the expressions on the protesters faces: happiness, fear, pain. We see something in the protest that is much more human. By this I mean we are seeing an up-close experience, opposed to a distant look that shows everything, but still reveals nothing.
It’s like watching a security tape of a robbery versus being the cashier there while the robbery occurred. You know what happened, but you can’t quit grasp the emotional content.
I think that this is why Ninja gained so much momentum. We are drawn to what is familiar to us, what we can relate to; and that is not a far shot of streets and people.
Ninja is able to draw audiences in because they show why we should care. They expose us to real people and show us truth, rather than tell us. This is a quality I believe professional news sources would benefit from adopting in moderation.