October 22, 2015
It’s generally considered unethical for a journalist to use a friend as a story subject, much less themselves.
So, when you read and listen to our story called Making Peace, you might be surprised to see a familiar name.
Hrisanthi Kroi is our teammate, she’s a ridiculously good web developer and she’s our friend.
And we interviewed her.
That’s an ethical decision that we made, and it counters what most consider acceptable journalistic practice.
So we wanted to explain to you why we did it.
For one, we did it because we’re trying to be a new kind of media organization. And we want to challenge and reconsider the rules we’ve all abided by for so many years.
Generally it is presumed best practice if a journalist leaves their voice and opinions out of a story. To make yourself the story somehow seems impure. Letting our ideas seep into the product could expose our personal biases and could cast doubts on the believability of the story.
But we at Driven Media, want you all to know us. We’re human. We mess up, we surprise ourselves, we’re lost a lot (in NYC that was figuratively and literally lolol), and we are very distinct humans whose experiences and lives undoubtedly influence our work.
Most importantly, we have our own stories.
We knew Hrisanthi’s tales of growing up as the only Albanian immigrant in Asheville, NC were important. We knew her bond with her sister was relatable. And we felt that her history led to intimate, real storytelling.
We also used her sister, Eleni, who goes to school in Brooklyn as a way of keeping Hrisanthi honest. It’s perceived that interviewing friends corrupts the story because they feel obligated to tell you what you want to hear. Eleni made sure that never happened.
By interviewing the two of them together, we get the real, honest and no-fear story.
As we grow and continue, we’ll share more of ourselves with you, mostly in the form of blog posts. We hope you can converse with us, argue with us and challenge us. If you think we made the wrong decision here, tell us!
You are the reason we’re doing this as well as the reason we’re able to do it. You make us who we are, so never stop talking to us (please).
Samantha and Hannah