Instagram Local News Fellowship applications open through March 6

College seniors, recent journalism grads can work as IG editors

The Facebook Journalism Project and Reynolds Journalism Institute have opened applications for the second annual Instagram Local News Fellowship. College seniors and recent journalism grads can serve as Instagram editors for the summer, working with newsrooms to reach new audiences and innovate their strategy on the platform. Newsroom leaders will mentor each fellow and share knowledge from their years of journalism experience. Liat Kornowski is joining our team as program manager of the Instagram Local News Fellowship — she will mentor the fellows and serve as a liaison for editors. Liat has led platform strategy and education initiatives for multiple publishers.

For ten weeks in up to 20 newsrooms across the U.S., the fellows will develop and implement an Instagram strategy that supports each publisher’s business goals. At the end of the summer, each fellow will develop a playbook with easy-to-execute strategies for editors to maintain their Instagram after the fellowship ends.

The application deadline is March 6. Fellows will be announced in late March and receive a stipend which they may use for their work, housing, and travel, funded by the Facebook Journalism Project. The fellowship will run from June 8 to August 14 and before the program starts, Instagram will host a training program at our New York headquarters from June 2-3.The

Instagram Local News Fellowship started as a pilot program last summer, when our first class of fellows spent ten weeks in three newsrooms — The Boston Globe, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch — with exceptional results.

One fellow, Emily Dunn, increased The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch’s Instagram account by more than 4,000 followers in just two months. Another fellow, Grace Lett, increased The Boston Globe’s Instagram account views by 700%. You can read more about their success here.

Since working with fellow Maggie Duncan, the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s senior digital editor Colleen Kelly has created a new audience engagement role in which a new staffer will incorporate Instagram strategies that Duncan put into place. The newsroom is now “more consistent with the pacing of Feed Posts and the way we hashtag and location tag to gain followers,” Kelly said, but also “looking for every opportunity to turn Instagram Stories into more interactive experiences for followers, even if that means drilling down on a specific aspect of a larger story.”

Last summer’s success proved that social-savvy college students with impeccable news judgement, newsroom experience, and a passion for local news can help improve audience engagement for local publishers. In turn, newsroom editors provided fellows with mentorship and career guidance.

View more information and apply here.

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