Q&A With The Coronado News’ Madeline Yang

Madeline Yang is a 2022 Point Loma Nazarene University graduate who now works at The Coronado News (TCN), started by adjunct journalism professor and TCN’s Editor in Chief Craig Harris. Yang currently serves as a reporter for TCN; however, much of her role involves using social media at the “24-hour news website and direct-mail free newspaper,” according to The Coronado News website.

Having attained a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in visual storytelling, much of her work cumulates videography, photography and writing. The Point sat down with Yang to discuss how social media is evolving the field of journalism.

The Point: How often would you say you use social media for your work?

Madeline Yang: It’s hard because TCN isn’t really on social media, so I would say it’s more so when I interview someone. I will try to find them on social media, like for example, if they have a business or personal account. This allows me to get a gauge for who they are. I also work with local people on Coronado [who] have social media accounts and give me permission to use their videos or photos in my stories. On my end though, I probably don’t use social media a ton compared to others. Craig might use it more just because he publishes all of our stories on Twitter or Facebook. So for me, I probably only use social media a couple times a week in my work.

TP: Does Craig run TCN’s different social media platforms or do you?

MY: Technically, I’m supposed to run it but he’s not too focused on social media. Occasionally, I’ll post something and then he ends up doing it anyway so I let him handle those platforms. I don’t use it that much anymore, but am hoping that in the new year I’ll become more active on social media again.

TP: Do you only have personal accounts, or do you also have professional accounts on social media?

MY: I just have personal accounts right now, but I’ve been thinking about making professional ones too.

TP: What platform would you say is used the most by you or TCN, and which platform do you feel is most effective at reaching your audience?

MY: Definitely Facebook just because Craig and the other editor are older and have a lot of connections on Facebook. A lot of the people Craig wants to reach happen to be older, and can be found on Facebook. When I see the TCN’s content get posted on Facebook there’s a lot of reach and audience around that. Instagram and X don’t receive as much attention for some reason. Maybe even LinkedIn.

TP: How do you feel social media has changed the journalism industry in recent years?

MY: I think social media has brought a lot more attention to news and good journalism. There’s always two sides to a story though, and it brings light to a lot of bad journalism, unfortunately. Like you think about how journalists had to adjust [to] someone like Trump being on Twitter, or the crazy news that would be spread during times like [the COVID-19 pandemic] or the Black Lives Matter movement. In the last couple [of] years, Twitter has done a really good job of releasing lots of news and in a way the platform sort of humanized news. 

A lot of reporters and journalists could just make a video and that was their form of journalism. Now more recently, I’ve seen reporters that use TikTok or Instagram Reels to get the news out, which just shows how much the industry changes over time. Moving forward, social media is going to be very important but I’m also not sure how much more social media can become involved in journalism.

TP: I saw you did a podcast for TCN with Bill Walton a couple [of] weeks ago; are podcasts something you want to continue to do, and do you feel they can grow your platform as a journalist?

MY: I think for me, because I really enjoy all the different parts of journalism like photography, video making, editing, as well as writing, continuing to expand my work is really important. Podcasts were the one thing I hadn’t tried yet, but I definitely want to keep at them. If I have the opportunity, then I would love to continue to make podcasts, documentaries and take photos as a different form of journalism.

TP: What advice would you give me in regards to using social media, and advice overall in life after college?

MY: My best advice would be to just take every opportunity that you can get to do journalism, especially if that is what you want to do — or whatever field you want to get into. With TCN for me, they allow me to be creative and try new things. They are a new, small newspaper but this work environment allows me to take on a bigger role. We get to do so many different things like make a documentary, take photos or make a podcast, and a bigger company might not let me do all that. 

I’m getting so much experience from this job, so I would say just go for whatever you are offered. I know people talk about not getting taken advantage of because some companies will waste your time or not pay well but sometimes you just got to gain some experience and see where it goes. It has served me well to just say yes to different opportunities and experiences.