Journalists on Social Media: Q&A with The Athletic’s Ric Sanchez

Sanchez on Twitter.

By Haileigh Bayee

Ric Sanchez has been specializing in social media since pretty much right after he graduated from the UM School of Journalism in 2015, first at the Washington Post and now at the Athletic, a national publication focused on sports news. Sanchez’s work includes curating content from what the Athletic has published and packaging it for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Current University of Montana journalism student, Haileigh Bayee, interviewed Sanchez recently about best social media practices. Below is the transcription of the interview, edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: What’s your favorite platform and how do you cater your content to that platform?

A: Twitter. Honestly, a lot of people use it, so I am always second screening on Twitter during a game. I’m looking at live reactions from creditors that I follow. Honestly, it’s the easiest and quickest way to get information out there. For the most part, it’s helpful as far as being able to publish news quickly.

Q: How do you ensure your posts stay professional yet inviting?

A: We had a lot of success being a little sillier on Twitter. You see that Washington Post avatar and you’re probably expecting something a little more serious. So voice with something lighter, as long as what you’re publishing is still accurate. You obviously don’t want to get carried away and post something that’s untrue but as long as you know you’re not like reaching, you’re not trying too hard, you can have funny reactions.

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Journalists on Social Media: Q&A with Maritsa Georgiou, Reporter for Newsy

By Max Bartley

Maritsa Georgiou. Courtesy photo.

Journalist Maritsa Georgiou started her career at NBC Montana in 2006 during her junior year at the University of Montana. She worked as an evening anchor for NBC Montana focused on politics, wildfire reporting, and special projects, primarily the Montana addiction epidemic.

Georgiou graduated from UM in 2007, earning a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. She currently covers Montana for Newsy, a national news network headquartered in Atlanta.

Her Twitter account, where she shares a broad range of topical journalism with focus on the pandemic and Montana, serves upward of 8,500 people and her Facebook and Instagram accounts bring her follower count to over 10,000.

Georgiou recently answered questions from UM student Max Bartley over email about her experience with the pandemic, social media, and journalism. Below is a transcript of their discussion. It has been edited slightly for clarity.

Q: Did you use social media differently during lockdown?

A: I had a lot more time to be active on social media because I was working from home and not anchoring, and people were desperate for information on COVID numbers, mandates and more. It became a really interactive tool for me to use while engaging with viewers.

Q: Did the pandemic lockdown have any noticeable effect on your job, your industry, and your visibility within your industry?

A: ABSOLUTELY. I never thought we could work in TV news from home or anchor a show from home, and we did. I was in shock when I first saw the Today anchors come on screen from their home studios. As far as visibility, it both increased and decreased depending on what lens you’re looking through. I went from anchoring three shows a night to producing short segments for those shows from home. My on-air time decreased, but my visibility in reporting stories that were shared across platforms increased.

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Journalists on Social Media: Q&A with Rachel Leathe, Photographer at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle

By Nikki Zambon

Rachel Leathe. Courtesy photo.

Rachel Leathe developed a love for photography at a young age when her father taught her basic techniques. Her admiration for the craft deepened when she entered high school in Great Falls and had access to a dark room to develop photographs. She went on to study photojournalism at the University of Montana, where she received her degree in 2014.

She was hired by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle in 2015 as a staff photographer and now works as Chief Visual Journalist. She also runs the Chronicle’s Instagram account with her co-worker, Sam Wilson. The Chronicle’s Instagram has 14,600 followers. The Chronicle’s other main platforms, Facebook and Twitter, have 52,207 followers and 20,800 followers, respectively.

Leathe recently answered J-School student Nikki Zambon’s questions over email and the following is a transcript of their conversation, edited slightly for clarity.

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