She’s young, formidable, and never shies away from saying what needs to be said. Meet Faye Elvira D’Souza, the Bengaluru-bred trailblazer journalist whose video went viral after she called out a misogynistic guest on air.
D’Souza, a Mass Communication post graduate, started her career with All India Radio as a student at Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru before going on to becoming a business journalist. She ran three weekly shows on ET Now and then became the anchor of Mirror Now’s primetime show – The Urban Debate. The viral video happened to take place on one of these debate nights, post which her audience only grew.
But D’Souza stepped down as the Executive Editor of Mirror Now right “around the time that mainstream journalism forgot to hold the government accountable for its actions,” she said at the Kommune Spoken Fest, which was held last year. Instead, she took a step forward as an independent journalist, bringing facts and balanced views to the audience in her own way.
For the people
Given the political situation in the country at the moment and fake news doing the rounds on social media and TV channels, journalists are struggling to connect with the audience. However, D’Souza managed to create a space of her own and reach out to people via social media platforms. Her journalistic ethics make her get involved with the people. She goes out on the streets and talks to people to find out the problems they’re facing.
“I find that going out on the streets, into protests, meeting people and finding out what they are upset about, what they need, makes it easier for me to understand what’s going on in the country,” she said in a recent interview with The Hindu.
It helps her in focusing on the right issues and putting up crisp posts. Her Instagram and Twitter accounts are always abuzz with activity, where she has a huge following – 759,000 and one million followers respectively. Today’s millennial audience prefer to get their news on the go. This comes with its own set of pros and cons, of course. It is hard to separate biased and amplified opinions, along with fake news, from actual facts when you’re scrolling through social media feeds.
Also, many don’t understand the significance of certain happenings. She explained during the interview, “India’s youth is very involved, active, and woke, but there isn’t anyone talking to them. Nobody, for example, was talking to them about the abrogation of Article 370 and telling them what these decisions being made were.”
Context is important to every story that’s being put out and most people, unfortunately, form opinions without it. Faye wants to try out new formats to bridge this gap and give out the whole picture. That’ll make it easier for the audience to form an opinion that’s based on facts. To help move this forward, the feisty journalist has taken longer stories to YouTube, where she has informed discussions with a panel of people involved with the issues or can provide expert analysis, at a normal decibel level.
News that should be headlines
D’Souza works out of her Mumbai home, getting out all the important stories that she comes across. She believes that aggregated, fact-based, and even-toned news is the need of the hour. Her followers clearly agree with her take on journalism because her reach has grown organically.
But it hasn’t been the smoothest of journeys. She isn’t part of an organisation, so every time her system breaks down, she has to fix it on her own. Finding investors, monetising, and being on your toes all the time is not any easier either. But that’s the prize she’s ready to pay for becoming an independent journalist.
“Not all large organisations are able to provide you with the independence to do the work that you need to do. Sometimes you have to create that space on your own,” Faye said to the media.
Today’s news model needs change. A huge part of it depends on monetisation – when you get news for free, you’re no longer the consumer. When viewers pay for what they watch, they get honest journalism in return. But when it’s just a number game where TRPs become more crucial than reaching the audience with the right information, then all is lost.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)