Insta-blogging, safe spaces (or lack thereof), and an exciting contest from Flipboard: this week’s Fresh Powder Report

Instagram is the new blog:

Instagram is quickly becoming more than just a way to share well-cropped, filtered photos of your cat being adorable; Insta-blogging has made an impact among celebrities, journalists, artists, and creative writers alike. While each Instagram “caption” is limited to 2,200 characters, it creates a unique platform for micro-blogging, accompanied with a picture (or collage of images, if you know your way around Picstitch). Instagram provides an intimacy that Facebook no longer can, as well as a privacy that many larger blogging platforms (such as WordPress or Tumblr, where anyone who knows your URL can look you up) can. It also creates a sense of community that often won’t be found elsewhere.  Instagram gives you more room to speak your mind than Twitter, but the ability to reach more than just family and friends on Facebook. Even individuals with true celebrity status can open up (check out Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s puppy posts if you feel like riding an emotional rollercoaster).

Respecting the right to refuse press:

As journalists, the line between “investigative press” and “invasive paparazzi” can often be a little too thin– in times of tragedy, violence, and vulnerability, how much space does the media deserve to take up? Protestors from the University of Missouri attempted to block the press from their protests last Monday; and, while the media certainly reserves the legal right to be present at such an event, the question this Washington Post article poses is— should they be? Understandably, the black community at the University of Missouri has become distrustful of the press, as it has time and time again unfairly portrayed police (and other) violence against members of the black community. Why should some journalists be given the green light when they hold the potential to do more harm than good? When anger over a lack of respect of First Amendment rights overshadows the respect for human beings who owe the media nothing, and are simply searching for a safe space, the media is doing something wrong. Though it may seem counterintuitive, it should be a well-accepted fact that, of course, not everyone is going to want to be a subject of journalism. As Terrell Jermaine Starr writes, “It’s one thing to demand access to public lands; it’s another to demand access to people’s grieving.”

Safe spaces are becoming increasingly harder to find:

It’s not just one Washington Post reporter that feels this way; here’s a similar article from the New York Times that cites both protests at Mizzou and Yale as examples of Universities that need to do more to make their student body feel safe, heard, and respected– from death threats against black students at the University of Missouri, to offensive Halloween costumes at Yale, academia is far from creating an inclusive space where the individual rights and safety of the students are of higher priority than “creating an intellectual space.”

A (pretty exciting) call for submissions:

Flipboard has officially announced their participation in “Great journalism from America’s High Schools,” a collaboration with a Flipboard magazine started by one of our very own members of the SNO Patrol, Jonathan Rogers (Iowa City High School.) Flipboard and JEA are inviting all high school journalists to submit their best work (created any time in between September 1st, 2015 and September 30th, 2016) for consideration in the magazine. Stories must have first been published elsewhere (on your school’s website, or maybe even on Best of SNO!) and the links to these published stories simply need to be sent to [email protected] for review. Flipboard writes: “Each month, we’ll flip up to 10 of the best stories into the magazine and everyone who gets “flipped” will receive a one-of-a-kind T-shirt from Flipboard the following month.” You can read more about the official contest rules here. Good luck!

These things also happened last week:

SNO went to Florida! If we got a chance to talk with you at this year’s National High School Journalism Convention in Orlando, thanks so much for stopping by! These conventions are great reminders of why we do what we do, and we love nothing more than getting a chance to see all of our “SNO Flakes” in person.

Returning to Minneapolis, we discovered that SNO’s homeland is making headlines this week– and not in a good way.

Surprising absolutely no one, the U.S. can’t agree on something.