Facebook Live in the midst of conflict

By Matt Payne


As I sat on a bleacher mid-assignment Saturday during congressman Michael Burgess’ first town hall meeting at Marcus High School since President Donald Trump’s election, my arms and fingers ached from holding my phone up for a Facebook Live stream to the Denton Record-Chronicle audience.

I remember several instances when Burgess would address me and fellow reporters a part of other media outlets, saying, “You know, I wish we could’ve gotten FOX News to show up, but we got these guys instead.”

Before me was a firsthand experience of the current political climate intermingled with the media.

This is a phenomenon that has swept the nation since Trump began spewing his hateful rhetoric a part of his campaign. It’s trickled down to other legislators like Burgess who’ve seized onto the trend of making buffoons and liars of reporters just trying to meet a deadline.

Yet, mediums like Facebook Live require composure and mindfulness from journalists more than ever. As The Media Online suggests, live feeds are a new and developing facet of journalism, one that projects citizen journalism into the limelight. Now, arguably more than ever, reporters find themselves having to cling onto the seemingly dwindling First Amendment right of free speech before brazen insults celebrated by several hive mind diplomats.

This isn’t my first time Facebook Living. However, it was my first time Facebook Living for one of my assignments as an intern for the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Something so fundamentally simple as typing, then tapping a button to go on air turned into a turbid, contested action quickly. Yet, at the same time, I felt invigorated to be one of the soldiers in journalism facing actual, tangible hate toward the industry I’ve chosen to invest in.

Featured image: A headshot of congressman Michael Burgess

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism