On Instagram and Scooping Yourself
This morning, after I’d briefed the photographer about the story in progress, we waited in the parking lot of a community hall for a source to arrive and escort us to a new location. I walked to the slightly crumbling mural of O.R. Tambo, snapped a photo, and posted it to my nascent Instagram account.
The pitching-assigning-reporting phase of a story carries a lot of energy. Ideas, exploration, anticipation, disillusionment, discovery–the sort of stuff one might post on social media if one didn’t mind scooping one’s self. In reality, feature writers often wait quite a long time before the article is finally (e-)printed–and announcing a story angle to the world in advance is never a good idea (and sometimes explicitly prohibited).
But a little glimpse of where the story physically takes me, without previewing the actual story and pictures? That seems doable, and a non-scoop.