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Global News digital journalist Sarah Komadina shares her unforgettable social media experience

By Maria Mena on October 26, 2023

We had a chance to interview Sarah Komadina, an accomplished reporter with Global News since 2019 and a Radio and Television graduate at NAIT. She shares both the good and bad of her experience when using social media for work, which can ultimately help young journalists navigate social media.

Q: As a digital journalist, how important is social media in your work?

A:I would say it’s very important because you use it to find stories, you use it to reach out to people, people reach out to you. So it’s a great thing and a great tool to have.

Q: How do you use social media professionally?

A: “I have my professional accounts, which are TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and a Facebook account. One of the major reasons why I started these accounts was because stories would come up, and I didn’t want them to see my personal accounts, especially sensitive stories. I don’t want them to see a picture of me with Chewbacca or something. I made these professional accounts to reach out to people mainly.

Q: Personally, how do you use social media?

A:I will post funny pictures, thoughts. I reach out to friends. It’s different than my professional accounts. It’s a space where I’m a little bit more myself, but I’m also aware that I’m always Sarah Komadina, the reporter, even there, so I don’t post anything that I think could be controversial or get me in trouble. I just stay away from [it] because it’s not necessary.” 

Q: What are the benefits of using social media based on your experience?

A: “Workwise, it’s been a great benefit because I have been able to find a lot of stories. I’ve also been able to find people to talk to me, so sometimes we put callouts to say, ‘I’m working on this story. Is this happening to you?’ And then they’ll reach back and then I have my interview and I have my story. It’s been a really huge deal and a big tool for me to have.

Q: How do you check and stay on top of the latest news on social media?

A:If you go on Twitter, you can do #yeg, and I will do that. I’m also in a ton of groups so I try to keep an eye on things that are happening that way. It is a little difficult though, like it’s not every day you find your story online. But you definitely can. I also try to monitor what other people, like other news organizations, are posting because sometimes you may miss something. Edmonton’s quite a different place from other markets I’ve worked in, there’s always something happening in our city, whereas like Regina and Lethbridge and Prince Albert are all a little smaller.

Q: What are the challenges that come along when you use social media?

A: “I think sometimes I have found that there’s some people that have reached out and they might be inappropriate, so that’s not great when that happens. Also sometimes you do receive negative comments and you have to just let it slide. You cannot let that bring you down because you don’t know this person. I have called out people sometimes when they have, but in a polite way.

Q: Can you describe any good or bad social media experience that stuck with you? 

A:I think one of the most impactful experiences I’ve had was when I was reporting on a baby that was killed in Hinton. We had come out of court, and I had to go live right away, so I didn’t have time to practice. It was quite devastating, and once I started to report it, I actually started to cry because it had a heavy impact. Afterwards, I was so anxious with how people might react to that because I don’t want to make the story about myself. And when I went online, people actually were talking about it, but they were saying really kind things. I was also shocked people were even talking about it, but they were saying about how it was nice to see humanity and that it was gut-wrenching. It was just nice to see people also pulling together to just say something nice.

Sarah Komadina shares she doesn’t always rely on finding her stories through social media. She sometimes gives people her cellphone number or they reach out to her through her email. Komadina can also be contacted on the Global News Edmonton website



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