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Credit: Credit: Photo by Tim Bennett on Unsplash

One of the interesting developments that was possibly overlooked amongst the key findings of this month's Reuters Digital News Report 2019, is the shift towards groups and private networks, namely on Facebook and WhatsApp.

It notes that Facebook groups grant social media users a space to foster more intimate conversations between new and existing contacts that would otherwise by lost in the algorithms.

The study shows that some 63 per cent of Facebook users across nine countries are members of at least one Facebook group, though hobby and local community orientated groups are more popular than those about news or politics.

Journalists can use Facebook groups to great effect to widen their social circles for a multitude of purposes, from networking to your next story. Journalism.co.uk has rounded-up a select bunch of 10 Facebook groups for journalists to join.

Before diving in: please be sure to read and respect the house rules of the individual groups. Many of these are closed groups with off-the-record content which should not be reposted publicly without prior consent.

The Social Media Geek Out

Led by social media commentator Matt Navarra, this group is simply a must for any journalist or editor looking to stay one step ahead of the social media curve, after all nobody can stay on top of everything alone.

Social media is constantly changing and updating, here you will find a steady flow of relevant news stories and updates, plus a concentration of industry professionals who answer many of the common problems we all run into on a daily basis.

So for your next social media conundrum, try reaching out to this group - or take a look at their mentorship options to provide or offer longer-term personal guidance and development.

#Mojofest community

Founder of the widely-attended MojoFest conference Glen Mulcahy set up this group as a continuation of the event, where mobile journalists can have an ongoing space to share and exchange creative ideas and solutions afterwards.

Here you can find out about the latest updates, new apps and gadgets to try out. Plus, there are more than a few wizards on hand who are willing to answer those burning mojo questions.

Journalism and Trauma

This is a safe space and a valued resources for journalists who encounter trauma in their work. Everything in this group is off-the-record and should not be used publicly.

You will find plenty of useful news stories and resources for both journalists and their interviewees who have been subjected to traumatic experiences, as well as a network of people who can provide advice and support. This can also be a way to connect with fixers and translators in a region you are going to about to head into.

Instagram for News & Publishers

Facebook-owned Instagram is a platform on the rise in terms of the social media users active there, and as such, editors are trying to understand how to capitalise on its momentum - some organisations are achieving this to great effect.

Drawing on from its workshops, this is a group designed for sharing knowledge on how to make Instagram work for news and publishers.

The Solutions Journalism Network Group

Solutions journalism is a strand of journalism quickly gathering pace, and the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) is right at the frontline of its emergence. In this group, you can expect some useful grant funding opportunities to be posted here as well as other good examples of solutions journalism projects.

Also look out for the live interviews that get reposted from the SJN Facebook page. Communities manager Jules Hotz conducts a live-streaming interview series with some fellow solutions journalists, exploring how they went about reported #MeToo #SolutionsToo stories.

Engaged journalism

Similarly, more projects are emerging with a reader-first news model, referred to as engaged journalism.

Looking to get started? There is a useful weekly round-up posted into the group by Joy Mayer, community manager, Gather and director, Trusting News. She offers some case studies of engaged journalism and other wider opportunities to get involved with, plus an 'introducing' section and some essential-reads.

Add to that the group video chats that features a panel of hosts that take member's questions, this group promises contacts and inspiration for getting started in engaged journalism.

Chief Storytellers

In a slightly more conventional sense, this can be a good hotspot for news stories. Set up by journalist Jon Card, this is not a place simply for ads, but journalists can find entrepreneurs here who are looking to gain some media coverage.

If you work in PR, you can find some good feedback from journalists on how to fine-tune your press release angle. For journalists looking for something interesting to pitch to your editor on a Monday morning, this can be a valued resource.

Hashtag Our Stories

Hashtag Our Stories co-founder Yusuf Omar has been trying to lead the innovative social storytelling space for a while now, and his group showcases some of the best examples in innovative video storytelling from around the world.

This can be a great source of inspiration for your next project and keeping up to date with the mobile journalism modules that Omar posts on YouTube.

Video Game Journalism

Staying with sources of inspiration, this group is exactly what it says on the tin: examples of video game journalism. It is an area of journalism with growing interest, but editors are still thinking about its full potential.

This is the group for you if you are looking to get your creative juices flowing.

Photojournalism

Ending with another self-explanatory group, this is perfect for freelance and staff photojournalists to share their creative works, upcoming events and awards ceremonies.

However, there are also some valued discussions in there about which social media platform is best suited for their work and techie advice too.

Did I miss any groups off? Forward them my way and it would be great to get involved

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