Welcome to our social media guide! Over the course of 6 months, the Design Research in Youth Media team at the Northwestern Knight Lab has studied high school journalism programs. We created this guide to help high school newspaper social media managers reach their audience on social media to boost impressions, readership, and engagement.

Ways this guide can help your publication:

  1. We can tell you how to get started on social media and how to implement a system that works for your class or club.
  2. We can help you start developing a brand for your publication — this will make the program's online presence more cohesive, help you create well-designed posts, and establish best practices that can be used by the publication for years.
  3. We have answered commonly asked questions for journalism advisers trying to navigate social media for the first time.
  4. We have compiled a list of resources to help young journalists navigate tricky ethical questions that come with social media.

Table of Contents

Branding 101

Instagram Strategy

Social Media Ethics for Journalists

FAQ for Journalism Advisers

Why does this matter?

Our research shows that high school newspapers often struggle to reach their audience through their online newspaper websites. Social media allows papers to drive readers to their website, but there are so many more benefits to establishing a social media presence for your program. Social media advertises the newspaper club or class to potential reporters, engages with a wider audience, creates new opportunities for content, and brings the news to where high schoolers consume media rather than ask high schoolers to seek out news.

<aside> 📊 Read the following page to learn more about our research at the Knight Lab and find out why your program should be using social media.

Insights: Design Research in Youth Media


Who should read this?

This guide is geared toward social media managers of high school newspapers. Whether you have that specific title or you are an editor hoping to build on your publication's Instagram presence, this guide is for you.

<aside> ❓ If you are a journalism adviser, feel free to read our

FAQ for Journalism Advisers.


Emma Healy

Emma Healy