Meet Cutes NYC Creators Give Journalism a New Love Language


December 7, 2023


Culture, Opinion



(NEW YORK) — Rife with drama and misinformation, it seems like the news in recent history tends to leave readers skeptical and divided. The creators of Meet Cutes NYC, a viral dating series, are rewriting the narrative of journalism—a place where love meets the headlines.

Meet Cutes NYC is far from your traditional news source; it has captured the hearts of over two million followers on TikTok and Instagram combined. This viral sensation showcases diverse couples and their origin stories, offering a feel-good series across social platforms. Beyond the confines of class, race, age, and ability, Meet Cutes NYC archives love in a way that transcends limitations. Its creators are unconventional journalists. They prioritize the audience, maintain independence from subjects, and deliver balanced news.

In February 2022, Victor Lee, a 28-year-old clothing manufacturer, and his friends, Aaron Feinberg, a 28-year-old hospitality specialist at WeWork, and Jeremy Bernstein, a 29-year-old renewable energy salesman, took to the streets of Soho in search of love. Not for themselves but, like any curious reporter, the trio discovered the power of letting people from different walks of life share their stories. Each video begins with a simple question: “Are you two a couple?” Yet, it quickly unfolds into each couple’s magnetic love journey.

The essence of love, a feeling that often leads to serendipitous moments can evidently also lead to an enticing story. In one romantic tale, David, a former supervisor of train operations at New York’s Grand Central Terminal, became enchanted by a woman who passed his office. This prompted him to reroute trains to the same track, hoping to see her again. Fortunately, his tactic worked, and the couple is now celebrating thirty years together.

David and his wife Bonnie’s story, like many others in the series, captivates viewers. In The Elements of Journalism, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel argue that journalism prioritizes public truth over self-interest or assumption. In Meet Cutes NYC, the creators metaphorically hand the microphone to ordinary pedestrians. Each person in the couple shares their perspective on how they met, what they cherish most about their partner, and their hopes for their partnership. In the same video, Bonnie reveals her initial unawareness of David’s scheme, exclaiming, ‘Jesus Christ…no, that is so unusual.”

While Lee, Feinberg, and Bernstein’s videos follow a Q&A format, the creators remain independent of their interview subjects. They stay off-camera, rarely expressing their own opinions. They transcend class, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, ability, and ego. Angela, a preschool teacher, and Jamil, a first-level ASL teacher, exemplify this independence. Sharing their love story through sign language, Angela interprets the questions to Jamil who is hearing impaired. Jamil signs, ‘Our languages are different, our worlds are different, but we’re still connected.’ This perspective reflects their relationship, allowing them to share their story on their terms.

But it’s not just about heartwarming stories; it’s about delivering news differently. In today’s digital age, where social media plays a crucial role in news consumption, Meet Cutes NYC has honed in on this evolving landscape. They create short, engaging videos with subtitles, making it easy for viewers to follow along. In a Pew Research survey from 2022, half of U.S. adults get news from social media. Meet Cutes NYC acknowledges this shift while staying true to the principles of journalism. They prove that journalism can take on many forms, and sometimes, adding a touch of romance to the news is precisely what we need.

Journalism, much like love, has no hard guardrails. What sets this trio apart is their ability to remind us that love can conquer skepticism and division. As one viewer of David and Bonnie’s story commented, “This is the most romantic story I’ve ever heard.” In a world filled with drama and mistrust, Meet Cutes NYC brings us back to the heart of storytelling, where love takes the lede.

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