By Emma Horn
Every morning Sean Romero pieces together the world’s news, brick by brick.
It’s been that way since June 2014, when Mr Romero started “The Short News” Instagram account. He posts a strange, funny or quirky news story almost every day with a photo scene he’s built out of Lego.
In just three years he’s gained more than 20,600 followers. And in 2018 he’ll turn his project into a book of about 120 strange but true stories.
“I wanted to repackage the news for people who are interested in the things that are going on in the world but aren’t being given the information in a way that actually appeals to them,” says Mr Romero.
Many faces to news
“It’s short, it’s sweet, it’s light, it’s colourful, and it sticks out as being not the usual way of delivering the news.”
When he started Mr Romero used any sort of toy. But he soon found that Lego minifigures can have thousands of different faces that can be used to tell a thousand different stories.
Fact from fiction
Mr Romero is a lawyer in Melbourne. Every morning he has just 10 minutes to put the photo together before he goes to work.
Finding the story is often the most time-consuming part of the process. With so much fake news online, it’s getting harder to separate the real from the rumour.
“I always check at least three sources and I look for consistency,” he says. “If anything looks like a rumour I won’t do it. It has to be factual.
“I want to reach people who don’t have the time and don’t have the interest in reading the news, so I make it very short and sweet for them.”
The best stories
Science and technology stories get people interested, but stories about cats and dogs doing wacky things are usually the best received.
“If they want to read about [tragedies] and disasters … it’s all out there and it won’t be very hard to find,” he says.
“But that doesn’t mean that I have to be a dealer of that sort of information. I can keep pushing positivity and interesting stories.”
It’s a small world
The most exciting part of his work is that he’s able to connect people from all over the world through a mutual love of Lego and news.
“I also have to read all of these stories to make [the photos], so for me every day I’m learning something new,” he says.