Students learn how journalists use Instagram

In the afternoon on the first day of the workshop, the Class of 2018 had a session on journalists’ use of social media, especially Instagram, with audience engagement editor Ray Boyd. He began by talking about a hot topic in Philadelphia: Super Bowl LII. The fact that the Philadelphia Eagles were in the Championship only intensified the interest of all who were in the workshop.

Boyd first projected an Instagram photo of a woman with the Eagles logo cut into her hair. He went over the basics of how to get the most attention on a post. He talked about the importance of hashtags and explained that there is usually no shortage of hashtags that apply to a photo. But this does not mean that the use of hashtags should be forced.

Photo by Ebony Graham

Next, he compared the ways that different accounts on Instagram make their posts accessible to their audiences. On a National Geographic photo, he showed that the account put an entire story in its caption. He then went back to a photo and showed that it simply had a recipe and a link to it.

Boyd wrapped up the lesson with a word of advice that applies not only to social media, but also to life: “Don’t respond to trolls!” He went on to say that there is no pleasing everyone and everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions.

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