The new age of Journalism
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The importance of social media in promoting school newspapers was the focus of the opening session of the annual High School Journalism Workshops hosted by the Palm Beach Post on Dec. 6.
“You should be visual, minimal and purposeful,” said Palm Beach Post Social Media Producer Kathleen Devaney, who led the session. “These are the key elements to social media.”
Devaney explained that Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are the most commonly used social media sites used by Post staffers to promote the information in the newspaper to busy members of the public.
Her advice for school newspapers was, “On Instagram you should post at least five times a day, Snapchat constantly and Facebook hourly, and keep posting for people to be informed and entertained.”
The dozens of students who attended from 11 schools — including Inlet Grove’s Brianna Luberisse, Yorgelis Yambo, Dillion McClain, Dakota Sands, Starlia Dormeus and Haley Britton — were first welcomed by Publisher Tim Burke. He talked about the history of journalism and introduced the activities for the day.
Following the opening workshop the Hurricanes were off to their “It’s All About You” private session with Senior News Editor Carolyn DiPaolo.
DiPaolo first went around the room getting to know each of the students, before discussing the Hurricanes’ GroveWatch.com online school newspaper and Forecast magazine.
“Everything is a good idea and you should never troubleshoot an idea down,” was one of Dipaolo’s nuggets of advice. “We can’t do everything, but we can always do something.”
Before posing for a photo, DiPaolo gave each student a gift: a notebook for recording their thoughts, one of the tools that she said helped her in writing.
Next the students headed downstairs to the newspaper’s cafeteria, named The Press Room. Steaming hot pasta, warm garlic bread, salad, cookies and brownies were served for lunch.
Another treat, at each school’s table, was staff members from different departments of the Post, who provided more expert information while all shared lunch.
The Hurricanes’ table was joined by Samantha Ragland, a digital content strategy manager. She said she loves her job, and added that she hoped the Canes were excited by their experience at the newspaper, and “plan to join the Post someday.”
Managing Editor Nick Moschella kicked off the afternoon sessions by introducing Frank Cerabino, a well-known columnist for the newspaper. Cerabino discussed how he became the award-winning writer he is today, while providing more professional writing tips.
“Too much mayo will ruin the taste,” Cerabino advised the student writers. “Start an exposition story with a scene and build the story around that scene.”
Other wisdom from Cerabino included, “Be part of the wallpaper, and when you do this you will be part of the scene.” He said he loves his job and plans to continue writing for the Post until he can’t.
Throughout the day the Hurricanes received words of encouragement from other Post staffers such as Social Media Producer Dan Scaputo, Editorial Page Editor Rick Christie, writer Kevin Thompson, and Senior editor Carol Rose.
The Canes ended their visit to the Post by thanking Nancy Jones, the Post’s Newspapers in Education coordinator, and her team, for organizing the day.
Last the Hurricanes posed for a group photograph beside the antique linotype machine in the newspaper’s lobby, which has become a Cane tradition.