The Journalists of Instagram

Professional journalists are now not the only journalists that are gracing the screens of our phones, televisions and newspapers/magazines. Normal, everyday people that don’t have a degree in journalism are telling their own stories or their own versions of world events through social media platforms – one of these being Instagram.

Instagram is a platform for showing people the world you live in and how you live your life. For others, it is their job. Bloggers are becoming a very huge part of journalism with audiences of over 200 thousand  followers viewing their content. The most interesting thing is, it started out as a hobby and they either don’t have a degree in journalism or they’re studying something else that is completely different to their work.


Margaret Zhang of Shine By Three.

Margaret Zhang is a Commerce/Law student at the University of Sydney and due to starting her blog ‘Shine By Three’, Zhang is able to add being a writer, stylist and photographer to her resume. Through being able to upload previews of her content onto her Instagram, Zhang has found herself with a following count of 418 thousand (2/05/15). In this image to the left, Margaret posts her styling work for Elle, a popular Australian magazine.

Zhang has been able to travel the world and capture the fashion world through images and blog posts and engaging with her audience through Instagram even though journalism is not her credited field. In saying this, all work shows to be professional and Zhang proves to portray your own stories and work you don’t particularly need a degree to do so.

Zhang’s work is just one of the many examples of citizen journalism taking place on Instagram and I think it’s a great way to be able to express ones creative self to the world.

Follow Margaret on her many social media platforms:

Instagram: margaretzhang
Twitter: @Margaret__Zhang


4 responses to “The Journalists of Instagram

  1. I think Instagram is a great example of citizen journalism and I also really liked your example. It is crazy that from a blog someone can become more well known then actual journalists and have all these other opportunities open up. I believe most Instagram users and there accounts can be viewed as citizen journalism (of course if their account is important enough that people are interested in what they are doing; aka they have a lot of followers) because they are all showing people something that may or may not be happening, or might look like something it is not, which is what the news does. The news can be very subjective because they choose what to show people, just like Instagram users choose what to post and how to make an image look different. I read this great blog about just that!
    I hope you enjoy it and great blog post! 🙂


    • Thanks so much! I think it’s crazy but great how the journalism world is changing so much, just like you said, people are getting more opportunities.
      That was an awesome blog post and I really enjoyed it! It’s funny to see the honesty of the other fashion bloggers! Thanks for your comment 🙂


  2. Firstly, I commend you on your title. I read it and was instantly like ‘Yes! Something that I’m super interested in and am more than happy to engage/comment on’. It’s so true that in this day and age, everyone thinks they are a fashion blogger or makeup blogger, etc. I think its such a fantastic thing but at the same time it makes me wonder what is our fascination as a society when it comes to a majority of women wanting to play this role. I’m sure this was not the case even a decade ago, so what is it about instagram that brings on these responses and fascinations. I liked your example aswell, it was interesting and engaging and the fact that the designer is also a uni student gives me hope that my mere 450 insta following can land me something big (although there is 0 talent in any department over here). Good job!


  3. I didn’t really analyse Instagram’s role in citizen journalism when I looked into the topic myself, because I always kind of dismiss Instagram’s reporting capabilities due to the fact that posts are usually only photos and a very short description. Your post however was very enlightening into how the application can be used as a tool for documentation and reporting. Great use of a relevant example, which really interested me as I had actually never heard of Margaret Zhang before today. You really highlighted her place in ‘citizen journalism’ and could even now relate Zhang to the ‘stuff that Tweets’ topic, due to her online persona being so popular.


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