Although the TV journalist identifies more with being an entrepreneur, Faye DSouza’s social media is a space where most of us get our news, and that’s exactly how she wants it to be. She talks to us about her plans to have a social media-led newsroom, the lessons we’ve all learnt this year, and the way forward.
Photograph: Manasi Sawant
ELLE: How has the pandemic impacted you? What have been your introspections, self-revelations and discoveries?
Faye DSouza (FDS): As journalists, the pandemic and the lockdown has provided a massive opportunity for coverage. I was in the process of starting a team, but before we could get an office and get started, the lockdown was announced. So, we learnt to work from home, shoot on our phones, edit on our laptops; it has taught us frugality, and how to make the most of whatever opportunities one has. I’ve also learnt that it’s possible to do good, real work without the big bucks.
ELLE: What do you think the crisis has shown us as a community?
FDS: We’ve learnt to live in a simpler fashion, work with less travelling and spend more time with family. However, we still have to learn to be able to distribute dignity equally and build a space where everyone is treated with the same amount of respect.
ELLE: In the coming years, what do you see as challenges in your field?
FDS: The biggest challenge, and this is something that was already in motion, is the lack of credibility and trust between mainstream journalists and their audiences. This is an industry that functions almost exclusively on trust; I feel this is a gap that is only going to widen in the future.
ELLE: How do we tackle the issue?
FDS: The way forward is to create content that consumers pay for. At the end of the day, if advertisers are paying for content, it will only serve them, and not the audiences. People need to be willing to support and pay journalists for quality, and often life-risking work. Only when that happens, will we see a change.
ELLE: You are the first real Instagram journalist of India. While social media comes with its own share of pitfalls, do you see it evolving into a content platform which encourages meaningful and important conversations?
FDS: I think social media is going to play a massive role. There, unlike traditional media, the exchange of news works as a two-way street. I put out something and I see how my audiences are reacting to it, how they are consuming it, and I do sometimes change my posts accordingly. This sort of journalism is already picking up, on a smaller scale, across the world.
ELLE: How are you #ImaginingTheWorldToBe post-COVID-19?
FDS: I imagine it to be a simpler world. We will continue to live with the simpler choices like the ones we have been making these past few months. In terms of the economy, it will take us time to go back to where we were. We’ll continue to move our lives online, work from home for a few days in the week, and not go out in the streets all that often.
For ELLE India’s 24th Anniversary Issue, we decided to feature select women (and some men) who have stood out as strong role models in their fields. We were keen on knowing their thoughts on how they perceive the future to be, how they see their individual industries evolving, how they intend to meet the challenges and what their hope for the world is. Read more in ELLE’s Anniversary Issue.