Content publishers should be teaching the LGBTQ community mobile journalism skills to tell their own stories, according to the director of Queer Media Festival, Jamie Starboisky.

"Get them to tell you what stories need to be told. Rather than the approach of ‘I’m going to document your story’, have the approach of ‘I’ve got the filmmaking skills, I’ll teach a group of people, develop them and then they can go out in their communities and bring the content back’," Starboisky told MoJoCon 2017.

He said that next year’s 25th anniversary of the decriminalization of same-sex activity in Ireland is an important event which needs to be marked by including more people in the media and developing these communities.

"You’re the publisher, not the producer and that is really useful for the LGBTQ community because then you’re getting them to create the content under your guidance. That way you’ve utilised your exceptional skills to bring more people in and more voices," Jamie added.

He also said we need to hear more positive stories. "The suicide rate in the LGBTQ community is really high and that’s because there’s often a lot of negativity, it’s taboo, there’s a lot of stigma sometimes, it could be a problem culturally, from religion – many different reasons." he said. "There just needs to be representation so there’s balance and it’s fair."

MoJoCon highlighted new technologies that have lowered the bar of entry into filmmaking and video journalism, but the cost may still be an issue for those in marginalised communities.

"We’re at a conference where we’re discovering the different handsets, the different kits and we need to just remember that if you’re a member of a marginalised community you might not have access to the money to pay for all of that stuff. I’ve found they can be very expensive especially in certain countries."

"If we want to include diverse stories we need to teach people with diverse backgrounds how to make a story but also encourage them to use their own handsets which often are really quite basic stuff. So, you’re stripping it back and telling them the basics of filmmaking," he said.

During MoJoCon’s long form and documentary panel, Starboisky pointed to specific areas which are considered to be underrepresented in the media including transgender people, women and the elderly.

"I’ve found with mobile journalism the representation struggles are because people don’t think to report the story about LGBTQ people. It takes somebody with a bit more thought to go out and document a story about a marginalised community that maybe they don’t connect personally with their own identity," he said.

Cillian Sherlock