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We should listen to the kids (especially on Instagram)

“If an established, legacy newsroom hired 15, 23 year olds to run a vertical of their own, I’d read that. And maybe 23 year olds would, too.”

We’ll hear from the youth: The kids don’t trust us. My friend, a high school teacher in Columbus, Ohio, says her students question her choice to use the New York Times as a trusted source. It does seem, though, that they trust each other a bit more — have you read about flop accounts? Maybe next year we’ll incorporate more youth voices (we certainly plan to at The Lily). Not by interviewing them or telling their stories, but by letting them tell their stories themselves. What would be really great is if an established, legacy newsroom hired 15, 23 year olds to run a vertical of their own. I’d read that. And maybe 23 year olds would, too.

We’ll be even better at Instagram: For me, this blank canvas of a platform continues to be the most fun place to craft a new brand and meaningfully connection with readers. Most media brand IG accounts have a lot of room for improvement, which is exciting. It’s like when I meet someone who has never seen a single episode of “Friday Night Lights.” They have so much joy (and Tim Riggins) ahead of them. Publications without a solid Instagram strategy need only hire someone who really understands the platform, an art director or two, and start experimenting. You may find yourself launching an Instagram-only book club or painting a mural live on election night.

Amy King is editor in chief and creative director of The Lily, a publication from The Washington Post.

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