“Documentally” Christian Payne discusses the importance of social networking

Christian Payne gave a guest talk to journalism students at the University of Northampton on Thursday, November 19 as part of the weekly Chron Talk programme.

Christian Payne, professionally known as Documentally is a renowned photographer, filmmaker and technologist who specialises in using social and digital platforms as a way of effective story telling.

He studied Applied Theoretical Physics at Coventry University, and eventually started his photography career in 2003 where he worked for the Chronicle and Echo as a full time photographer.  It was not until a car accident in 2008 that Christian realised the power of the internet and social networking after his car accident video went viral. This then led to him exploring skills outside of photography.

Christian then started to develop his filmmaking skills by documenting the plight of Iraqi Refugees in Jordan in 2008 and also Hong Kong and Pakistan for the British Council in 2010.

When discussing current news topics he stated that “Yesterday’s news is tomorrow’s error 404” and that current news has to be consistently sourced and reported. He then spoke about the networking aspect of journalism, saying “whatever cannot be networked will become less important”, and that journalists need to be focusing more on the digitalisation and social networking aspect of news in order to effectively connect with their audience.

Christian currently runs his own website, ‘Documentally’ which provides workshops on social technology and mobile story making, whilst also teaching about story making using networked devices.

The Chronicles talks take place each Thursday between 1-2pm at the University of Northampton Avenue Campus.

By Christopher Sliney (BA Multimedia Journalism)