Using Instagram to display transparency in reporting

Emily Davies, crime and criminal justice reporter for The Washington Post, uses Instagram to follow people from the communities she covers in her stories. Davies used to follow people on her personal account, but she encountered the dilemma of where to draw personal boundaries. She still wanted to let people into her day-to-day life and her process as a reporter, so she created a public Instagram account, @emilydaviesreports.

SPJ’s Code of Ethics says that “ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.” Davies uses her Instagram account to be transparent to her audience and be accountable for her reporting. Her posts consist of her at reporting sites, reader notes and ways she prepares for things like protests. She also engages with her followers, answering questions they have about her reporting.