“They’re in school, they’re in university, they’re out and about, and they’re sending us things that they see, things that they might not send the news or that news organizations might not pick up on so fast,” he says.
“We’re getting that information first from the people who are outside.”
Brian Gorman, a former journalist and current communication studies associate professor at MacEwan University, appreciates the way Yegwave’s Instagram feed swaps the hierarchy of the traditional news layout in favour of a more stream-of-consciousness approach.
“I found myself scrolling and scrolling and scrolling because it’s addictive. You don’t know what you’re going to find next,” he says. “I mean you’ve got a news story, a sports story, an entertainment story and then a picture of a woman in an evening gown jumping over a snowbank.”
Gorman is reluctant to call what Yegwave does “news,” but says he doesn’t see an ethical problem with the way the page operates generally, saying it’s not far from the origins of outlets like the Huffington Post, which started as an aggregator.
He suspects most of its followers are smart enough not to take it as their be-all, end-all information source.
“I teach Gen Z,” he says. “My students are all 18-30, and I’ve never gotten the impression that any of them were dumb enough to confuse Twitter or Instagram with the New York Times.”
According to an American Press Institute study published in August, 74 per cent of Gen Z consumes news through social media, while 44 per cent don’t get news and information from any traditional sources.