WMCA Mayoral Election 2017

In early May, the West Midlands voted for its first combined Mayor to oversee spending on a consolidated transport budget and a 30 year 1.1 billion pound investment fund, and to be responsibility for a compulsory purchase power over housing and planning.

I used the election as a subject for a research project into the effectiveness of publishing news to Instagram. My findings can be read I need a series of blog posts on this website.


  • Covering an election on Instagram - Following the research I conducted through my News on Instagram posts, I reported on the election for Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority using predominantly mobile journalism techniques, and publishing only to Instagram.
  • What I’ve learned about publishing news to Instagram - A struggling engagement with young people has resulted in news organisations experimenting with their use of social media as a way of addressing a widening gap in their audience. In a series of blog posts, I have examined the use of Instagram as a platform for distributing news content. I found some common trends and good practices.
  • Interview: BBC News social media editor Mark Frankel talks Instagram - Mark Frankel is the social media editor of BBC News. He managed a team of audience engagement producers and writers who post regular content to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram. I'm interested in Instagram, and why the BBC is so keen to explore this platform for news.
  • Publishing news with Instagram’s latest carousel feature - Since its introduction last week, Instagram's newest feature serves new and exciting opportunities for news organisations. In a move that now allows for up to 10 pictures and/or videos to be shared within a single post, or carousel, news organisations can utilise the techniques they learned for Stories to create permanent news content.
  • Instagram’s latest feature opens up opportunity for news content - Tonight Instagram revealed a new feature that allows its users to share up to 10 pictures and videos within a single post. Like Stories, but as a permanent post. The idea is that you can swipe from left to right between the pictures, or videos.
  • Using Instagram Stories for news content - Instagram has two ways of publishing content: its timeline, and through its Stories feature. Stories were introduced in August last year and unlike timeline pictures and video, are only available to view for up to 24 hours after posting. It's very similar to Snapchat, and designed so "you don’t have to worry about overposting".
  • Data visualisations on Instagram - Data is a valuable product for journalists to not only source news stories, but to prove and disprove beliefs. However data on its own is unattractive, and isn't interesting to a general audience. Instead, visualisations capture the meaning of data, and should present it in such a way that provides understanding, while also making it engaging.
  • How to create news video for Instagram - I've put together a quick guide for creating a video, specifically for Instagram using Final Cut Pro X. Despite Instagram now allowing portrait and landscape videos on their timeline, this example will be creating a square video - which is quite common across social media sites.
  • Ten ways to use video for news on social media - This is a list of what I consider are ten of some of the best examples of news video on social media, including content from: BBC, Bloomberg, Press Association, NASA, Vice, and others.

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