Sponsored Session: Lessons From the Instagram Local News Fellowship, Sponsored by Facebook Journalism Project

  • Thursday – 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
  • Bayside A+B - 4th Floor | Sheraton
  • #ONA19

This session is sponsored by The Facebook Journalism Project

This event is presented by Facebook

In June 2019, Instagram and the Missouri School of Journalism kicked off the Instagram Local News Fellowship placing three of the journalism school's 2019 graduates in three metro newsrooms for a summer fellowship.

The three student journalists spent the summer working at The Boston Globe, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch helping the newsrooms build community and attract younger readers by rethinking and reinventing the papers' Instagram strategy through local news coverage on Instagram. The student fellows also worked with high school students, from a high school without a student newspaper, in proximity to their assigned newsroom.

Nico Gendron, a 2018-2019 RJI Fellow, who worked with Instagram to oversee the Fellowship will moderate a panel featuring one of the student fellows and two of our newsroom mentors on the outcomes of this initiative and takeaways for other newsrooms who are establishing their own Instagram strategy to attract younger readers/subscribers.

This session is designed for:

  • Social Media, Audience Engagement and Product folks interested in rethinking their news outlet's Instagram strategy
  • News outlets interested in learning how to better engage with younger readers (like Gen Z) via Instagram
  • News outlets trying to strike a balance between what team has creative control of the Instagram account


Devin Smith - Senior Manager, Audience Engagement, Boston Globe Media

Elaine Vydra - Audience Development Manager & Online News Editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com

Emily Dunn - Recent Graduate, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism

Grace Lett - Recent Graduate, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism


Nico Gendron - 2018-2019 Residential Fellow, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism