The Impact of Instagram on CBC News Coverage

By: Natasja Pitcher, Tracy Thomas, and Trishka Villar


The first social media platform,, was launched in 1997 (Ngak, 2011​​). Almost 25 years later, research shows that over 3.6 billion people, more than half of the world’s population, used social media in 2020, and there is a projected 85 percent increase for this number in the next three years (“Number of social network users worldwide from 2017 to 2025”, 2020). This mass influx of users to social media platforms has revolutionised the journalism industry and changed how news is gathered and shared in society (Vázquez-Herrero et al., 2019, p. 1-13). Although Instagram was created in 2010, 13 years after the first social media platform was published (“The Evolution of Social Media: How Did It Begin and Where Could It Go Next?”, n.d), it now hosts almost half of social media users in the world. Many news media organisations use Instagram, and in recent years have become more active on the platform (Byrd & Denney, 2018). According to a recent article, with 20.3 million followers, BBC News is the most followed new media account on Instagram (“Most popular social networks worldwide as of October 2021, ranked by number of active users”, 2021). The article also states that BBC News’ Instagram “regularly drives more than 700,000 clicks back to the News site every week – more than five times higher than the 2019 average” (Tobitt, 2022). The research team believes that in addition to access to a broad audience, the versatility of storytelling mediums and the ability to have a personal interaction with the audience on Instagram contributes to why it is a preferred platform for news media organisations (Kim & Dennis, 2019, pp. 1025-1039). This research explores the impact of Instagram on CBC news coverage. Through a quantitative research method that uses survey and content analysis, the research determines how Instagram has changed how news is shared, received, and perceived in society.

Online Communication is Replacing Real Life Interactions: A Qualitative Research into Computer-Mediated and Face-to Face Communication

By: Tracy Thomas and Mandy Mah


Computer-mediated relationships are intriguing and have become a massive phenomenon in interpersonal communications in today’s society. When Social Information Processing (SIP) theorist, Joseph Walter, predicted that computer-mediated communication could prove more effective than face-to-face communication, the concept seemed to be without merit. (Griffin et al., 2019, p. 117). Until the early 90s, it was beyond human imagination that people could form meaningful relationships through computers.  In recent times, computers and the internet have become one of the top ways for individuals to communicate in this century.  New advanced technologies have made it so much easier to create relationships with individuals irrespective of their proximities. Mediums like emails, texts, audio and video calls have helped people maintain old relationships and establish new ones. Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor’s Social Penetration theory (SPT) states that intimacy develops through mutual self-disclosure, which confirms SIP theorist’s argument that “given the opportunity for a sufficient exchange of social messages and subsequent relational growth, as goes face-to-face communication, so goes online communication” (Griffin et al., 2019, pp. 93-94). Over time, the gap between computer-mediated and face-to-face relationships has grown smaller, and over the last year, perhaps this gap has become non-existence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper explores the closing gap between computer-mediated communication and face-to-face communication. This research paper analyzes factors that influence computer-mediated communications, such as self-presentation and cultural differences, using applicable theories and research articles. It shows how computer-mediated communication has slowly matched up to and possibly replaced face-to-face communication.


At the start of fall term, I found myself needing therapy, and after shopping around for a therapist, I quickly realized how broke I was. After speaking with a psychologist at MacEwan University’s Counsellor, Wellness and Psychological Services, I discovered that I could afford therapy. 

It may not be news that you have a Canada Life health and dental plan through SAMU that is part of your tuition — except if you opt-out. However, since therapy is not expressly mentioned in the list of benefits, it is not immediately clear that it is included in the package. In addition to finding out that my student insurance covers 80 per cent of my therapy sessions… 

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For many Netflix lovers, part of the joys of the recent holiday season extended beyond watching our favourite Christmas movies for the hundredth time. It included looking forward to season two of Emily in Paris

Between the pandemic, lockdowns, and travel restrictions that plagued most of the last two years, season one of Emily in Paris was a hit. It allowed its audience to live vicariously through Emily. But for many, the series was more than its elegant fashion choices, beautiful scenery, and of course the romance — after all, it is Paris. Emily in Paris was a front-row seat to experiencing French culture, or so we thought…

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“Unprecedented times” is one of the most popular phrases associated with the COVID pandemic. It is challenging to look beyond what is in an effort to see what could be in a pandemic. How can such dark clouds carry a silver lining? 

Speaking with some students from different MacEwan University departments, we were pleased to see the poise and positivity with which they have handled the unfortunate circumstances of the pandemic.

“My experience with COVID as a student gave me the chance to practice time management. It took away some experiences of face-to-face learning, but it made available other practices which can be applied in our daily lives” says Hanna Barcia, a psychology major at MacEwan University. Despite initial struggles at the start of the semester, Barcia likes the idea of working at her own pace. “My school stuff does not clash with my personal life anymore as I have more flexible time,” says Barcia, who has a planned family trip to the Philippines this year. With the new system in place, Barcia, like the rest of us, can take school with her wherever she goes. She adds that although the pandemic prevented a traditional university experience, the instructors’ availability whenever she emailed them helped her a lot. “Everything was accessible and easy to find,” says Barcia.

Similarly, Michael Pinili from the MacEwan business management program finds that there are advantages to schooling online. “Two of these advantages are… continue reading this story in The Griff



Sixty-three thousand people in Canada lost their jobs in December of 2020, according to Craig Wong’s CTV News article published on Jan. 8. Wong also stated that it was the worst downturn of the job market since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. MacEwan University graduating and recently graduated students are asking “what next.”

After the 2014 Ukraine Euromaidan revolution sparked his curiosity about how news unfolds, final-year journalism major Timon Johnson decided to switch from engineering to his current program with the goal of one day experiencing and being part of the news and storytelling process. However, the unstable job market and Huffington Post Canada recently laying off all its journalists create some questions about that future.

“So as of right now, the journalism field is extremely competitive, there’s no sprinkling that. (There are) more people in the field and less opportunities available to work with big or small news organizations,” Johnson says. 

Like Johnson, many other students wonder what will happen to them as they join the unstable job market. 

Sydney Pshyk, a bachelor of commerce graduate of MacEwan, says, “the job market right now… looks a little bleak.” She describes her job-hunting experience as being stressful, strenuous, and slim pickings. “I’ve never struggled to find a job like I have right now,” she says. According to Pshyk, companies who have been forced to consolidate and downsize their teams due to the pandemic, are now looking for candidates who can wear multiple hats. She states that she no longer qualifies for jobs that she would have qualified for years ago. “They want a marketing coordinator with a strong background in graphic design, which is just not something that is typically offered through undergraduate programs…

Continue reading this story in The Griff

Online-Dating Stories #1: The Lies They Tell

It had been three months since we started dating, and I knew nothing about him. His truck and first name, maybe, or at least that’s what I thought.

You hear many things about online dating. Reasons to keep away, but enough to draw you in. When I quit a commission-only job that took twelve, sometimes more hours of my days, six days a week, I felt like time had cheated me. I was so bent on catching up on life, the things I potentially missed, that I decided to try some new things. One of those things was downloading a dating app.

I downloaded the app, OK Cupid, while I was on a trip to Surrey, BC, with one of my best friends. I was having such a good time with my friend that I forgot about the app for a while until I brought it up and let my friend’s roommate help me text a few people on it. 

It’s difficult to remember exactly how long it took me to get back on the app after I got back to Edmonton, but I remember it was close to the end of the year, likely the end of November. He was not the cutest or sexiest boy I talked to on the app, but he had his way with words. We chatted a lot and eventually started talking on the phone. He asked to take me on a date, and after convincing myself to stop being paranoid, I agreed.

Continue reading this story on Urban Columnist

FOR LOCALS, BY LOCALS: How Edmonton’s newest destination strip mall, Manchester Square, supports local.

A new landmark popped up over the summer of 2020, leaving many people curious about the story behind the “little Europe” on the corner of 120 Street and 107 Avenue. This structure currently functions as a photo op destination for most, with many people visiting to take beautiful Instagram photos.  

Giordano Morgulis, the vice president of sales for 76 Group Co, developers of Manchester Square, provides insight into this new strip mall’s past, present, and future. Continue reading this story in The Griff