In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and emphasizing the importance of being prepared for a professional world, LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC) welcomed Angie Cruz on October 31st in the E-building’s Poolside Café. Ms. Cruz, who previously visited the campus in 2017, is an Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, writer of short stories and […]
Social media has become an essential part of our lives without realizing it. Beyond chatting, posting and sharing photos and videos, social pages such as Facebook and Instagram can be the door that’s opens a new generation of digital journalism.
To make the digital experience easier, CUNY’s School of Professional Studies organized an online workshop to learn about the application of social media into journalism.
The workshop is part of a training program hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in collaboration with the Facebook Journalism Project. They seek to teach those integrating into the new digital media age on how to use valuable Facebook and Instagram tools that can help during the process of reporting journalistic stories and help them connect with a social media-based audience.
The webinar took place on November 7th and training was done by Alyxaundria Sanford, a freelance journalist and alumna of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Ms. Sanford spoke about some important steps to consider while using Facebook and Instagram. One of the steps included building the presence through a Facebook profile or page, depending on the objective of the user.
“With a personal profile, there’s the advantage that you can reach out to people, maybe sources that you’re looking for. With a page, you can communicate with people, but they have to reach out to you first,” Ms. Sanford said to establish the difference between a Facebook page and a profile.
Since Facebook is one of the most popular social media outlets–with 2.4 billion users each month–the amount of newsworthy content is innumerable. Ms. Sandford considers that the Facebook search bar is a great news-gathering tool, either for verifying facts or looking for a specific page or person. Keywords can be really helpful!
Similarly, Instagram, which is used by 1 billion people per month, can be used as a journalistic tool to find ideas for your reporting. Either searching by location or a hashtag, you can find people who were involved in an event or breaking news.
Referring to breaking news and events, Facebook and Instagram can be the perfect place to tell a story. Ms. Sandford explained that the key is using a variety of content such as videos, photos or live streaming, which in the end, is engaging for the audience.
“You want to show what it means to be in the moment. Content videos are great, photos are attractive, and you should be timely and relevant. I think that’s the whole basis behind social media, it’s that you don’t have to wait until it’s edited and approved,” said Ms. Sandford.
She also highlights Facebook Live as a current trendy tool, that on average has 6 times more interactions than on common videos, and the audience usually leaves more comments. Live videos are also available on Instagram, but another good way of interaction is through Instagram stories.
“If you want to build an audience through Instagram stories, a great way is to be very consistent with your posting,” tipped Ms. Sanford, which also can be combined with the use of gifs, emojis, and several options that Instagram offers, especially because it attracts a lot of young followers.
At the end of the day, if you want to explore a new and digital option for news-gathering and development of stories, Facebook and Instagram have valuable tools that can be used in your favor. It is only a matter of being original with the content and maintaining an authentic voice and presence to establish a good connection with your followers. Ultimately, they are the ones who will judge the work that is posted.