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Social media is both a blessing and a curse for news publications. It is a must to be active on the main platforms in order to promote content and engage with audiences. It can be especially useful for news outlets which cater to under-served audiences to foster and build community. 

In this week's podcast, we hear from Hollie Wong, social media manager of GAY TIMES, on how social media is both a force for good for publications with a marginalised audience but at the same time can make their journalists a target for toxic comments, abuse and trolling.

GAY TIMES is a LGBTQ+ publication founded in 1975 originally as a magazine, and now is the most followed LGBTQ+ publication on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram with a combined following of 4m; an impressive figure that represents a 10 per cent growth from 2020 to 2021. 

Social media is a huge driver of its offline work too: its 'LGBT: Incomplete Without The T' campaign, a nationwide trans-solidarity movement in response to increased transphobia around the world combined physical billboards and social media campaigning.

But online abuse has now become an accepted part of a journalist's job. When it comes to discussing issues of transgenderism online, society’s lack of consensus on transgender rights and the vicious, sometimes coordinated, attacks of trolls, has led to particularly high levels of abuse.

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