Johnny’s work–and the docu-splainer methodology in general–is far from perfect. Johnny works at the pace of a journalist rather than a documentarian, meaning he only visits a town or place for a few days. He’s also a white American guy, and although is projects are incredibly thoroughly researched, he will always be limited to an outsider’s perspective.
In many ways, I think that Johnny represents an emerging breed of documentarians. He notes that he is working to become a “unicorn,” someone who is capable of writing, researching, editing, filming, interviewing. As many news organizations and documentarians shift focus towards online short documentaries, “unicorns” are becoming increasingly valued. This is an aspiration that I share, and in my time at CDS, I have intentionally worked on and developing my skills in as many forms of media and steps of the process as possible.
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