Journalists On Social Media: Q&A With MTN’s Jane McDonald

Jane McDonald is a broadcast journalist and a reporter at the Montana Television Network, which is a network of CBS affiliates with local stations in just about every major city in Montana. McDonald graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Journalism and Media Production from the Murrow College of Communication. She was involved with multiple multi-media productions and the Murrow News 8 team before joining MTN news in June 2021.

UM Journalism student Meghan Fatouros interviewed McDonald about her ideas on best practices on social media. What follows in a transcript of their conversation, edited slightly for clarity and brevity.

Q: How do you decide what is beneficial to post and what is not?

A: Digital elements of storytelling have really become a focus for broadcasters. When I’m back at my desk, thinking what would be a good piece for our social media, I try to find something that elevates the story: whether that be background/facts and figures, or an extended interview with a person I talked with.

Q: Has there ever been a moment you chose to delete something or backtrack?

A: There have been several times where I head back to my team and ask for their advice, for instance, the title of an article. I always try to think of journalism from all angles—and if a new angle hits me later on in the day, I reach out to my coworkers and see what they think.

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2022 Summer Journalism and Media Camp

Twenty-five high school students from across the state (and country!) gathered in Missoula this week on the University of Montana Campus to explore journalism and media at the 2022 summer camp sponsored by the University of Montana School of Journalism and Humanities Montana.

Students covered a local baseball game and Out to Lunch in downtown Missoula and produced a mix of photojournalism, audio stories, written articles and even a TikTok video.

You can listen to the audio coverage here and here.

And, you can see the full written coverage here.

A full gallery of the photos is here.

And, below, watch the TikTok video from Wilson Freer and Hattie Batchelder.

High School Students From Across the State Gather, Celebrate and Learn at Annual Montana High School Journalism Day

Photo by Antonio Ibarra.

Nearly 150 high school students from as far away as Frazer (465 miles) and as close as Hellgate High (seven blocks) gathered at the University of Montana School of Journalism on April 21 to celebrate the state’s top high school media makers, connect with each other and take workshops with the school’s professors at the annual Montana High School Journalism and Media Day.

The day kicked off with the Montana High School Journalism Awards, given by the School of Journalism and the Montana Journalism Education Association. Bigfork High School’s Elizabeth Hyde was named the Montana High School Journalist of the Year, with MJEA’s Beth Britton and Missoulian publisher Jim Strauss hailing her work and promise as a young journalist.

In the “pacesetter” categories, the Hellgate Lance won for online publications among AA schools and The Norse Code from Bigfork High won for Class B schools. Eagle TV at Big Sky High School took home the broadcast pacesetter award for AA schools and the Norse Code at Bigfork High won the category for B schools.

For newspaper pacesetters, The Hellgate Lance won the AA category, The Signal Butte at Custer County High School won for Class A, The Florence Chronicle at Florence-Carlton High won Class B and the Sagebrush Saga from Garfield County High School won in Class C.

Kendall Boehm of the Florence Chronicle won the Student Free Press Award for coverage of a club that formed to support LGBTQ+ students.

“It is always tricky for student journalists to cover controversial issues in your school, but even more difficult to cover a topic that has exploded into the divisive world of social media beyond the schoolhouse gates,” the judges wrote.

See the full list of awards and photos below.

Photos by Griffin Ziegert.

High School ClassCategoryPlaceNewspaper/ProgramSchoolIndividual Winner (If applicable)
AAFeature WritingFirst The Hellgate LanceHellgate High SchoolAli Caudle
CFeature WritingFirst Sagebrush SagaGarfield County High SchoolAbby Pierce
AASports Event WritingFirst Big Sky Sun JournalBig Sky High SchoolHollin Keintz
ASports Event WritingFirst Signal ButteCuster County High SchoolMiranda Moe
BSports Event WritingFirst Florence ChronicleFlorence-Carlton High SchoolAbigail Binder
CSports Event WritingFirst Ennis Mustang MonthlyEnnis High SchoolLily Connor
AASports Feature WritingFirst Hellgate LanceHellgate High SchoolMaggie Vann
ASports Feature WritingFirst The Norse CodeBigfork High SchoolLiz Hyde
CSports Feature WritingFirst Sagebrush SagaGarfield County High SchoolAbby Pierce
AAOpinion WritingFirst Hawk TalkBozeman High SchoolMiles Fastnow
COpinion WritingFirst Mustang MonthlyEnnis High SchoolRuby Blazer
AANews WritingFirst Hawk TawkBozeman High SchoolOlivia Bulis
ANews WritingFirst Signal ButteCuster County High SchoolLauren Reinhart
BNews WritingFirst The Howl NewspaperShelby High SchoolHayden Schilling
CNews WritingFirst The Mustang MonthlyEnnis High SchoolRuby Blazer
BFeature PhotographyFirst The Norse CodeBigfork High SchoolZoe Sellers
AANews PhotographyFirst The StampedeC.M. Russell High SchoolIsabel Foley
AASports PhotographyFirst Sun JournalBig Sky High SchoolKolja Gerstenkorn
AAAudioFirst The JoustHellgate High SchoolDarian Davalos, Win Duerk and Sierra Meissner
CVideo NewscastFirst Falcon Student NewsTwin Bridges High SchoolRuby Waller, Sam Konen, Emma Konen and Callie Kaiser
AAVideo: SportsFirst Eagle TVBig Sky High SchoolJacob Gardanier, Cole Campbell, Tre Reed and Dawson Raulston
BVideo: SportsFirst The Norse CodeBigfork High SchoolAbby Curtiss
AAVideo: PSAFirst Eagle TVBig Sky High SchoolDouglas Lautzenheiser, Gwen Fleming-Campbell and Hollin Keintz
AAVideo: Arts & EntertainmentFirst Eagle TVBig Sky High SchoolHollin Keintz, Doug Lautzenheiser and Gwen Fleming-Campbell
BVideo: Arts & EntertainmentFirst The Norse CodeBigfork High SchoolLiz Hyde and Zoe Sellers
AAVideo: General Assignment NewsFirst Eagle TVBig Sky High SchoolHollin Keintz
AAPhoto IllustrationFirst The StampedeC.M. Russell High SchoolIsabel Foley
AAdvertising DesignFirst Signal ButteCuster County District High SchoolSignal Butte Staff
CAdvertising DesignFirst Sagebrush Saga/Garfield YearbookGarfield County District High SchoolBrenna Murnion
BEditorial CartooningFirst The Norse CodeBigfork High SchoolLillian Peterson
CEditorial CartooningFirst The Mustang MonthlyEnnis High SchoolGracie Leavitt
AAInfographicFirst The StampedeC.M. Russell High SchoolIsabel Foley
AInfographicFirst Signal ButteCuster County High SchoolLauren Reinhart
BInfographicFirst The Norse CodeBigfork High SchoolPiper Lee
ANewspaper DesignFirst Signal ButteCuster County High School
BNewspaper DesignFirst Florence ChronicleFlorence-Carlton High School
AAOnline PacesetterFirst The Hellgate LanceHellgate High School
BOnline PacesetterFirst The Norse CodeBigfork High School
AABroadcast PacesetterFirst Eagle TVBig Sky High School
BBroadcast PacesetterFirst The Norse Code NewscastBigfork High School
AANewspaper PacesetterFirst The Hellgate LanceHellgate High School
ANewspaper PacesetterFirst The Signal ButteCuster County High School
BNewspaper PacesetterFirst The Florence ChronicleFlorence-Carlton High School
CNewspaper PacesetterFirst Sagebrush SagaGarfield County High School
BStudent Free Press AwardFirst Florence ChronicleFlorence-Carlton High SchoolKendall Boehm
BHigh School Journalist of the YearBigfork High SchoolElizabeth Hyde