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We have been testing a new way to use social media and connect readers with original, local journalism. I wanted to post a few examples and briefly explain what we’re trying to do.

The basic idea is to educate more people through social media like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Rather than simply post words, we’re publishing simple graphics that contain a chunk of journalism and usually a picture.

For example, we posted the graphic below following Rob Davis’ reporting on a secretive federal agency called Wildlife Services.

We also posted the graphics below to highlight recent stories about Poway Unified School District’s unusual borrowing plan, public funding for NFL stadiums and mayoral candidate Bob Filner’s comments on a plan to remodel Balboa Park.

These styles of graphics, often seen in internet “memes” that go viral, have become popular ways of sharing information and engaging readers across digital media. They’re commonly used for wisecrack humor (especially cat humor) but we hope they can also become powerful vehicles to spur civic debate.

Social media websites make the graphics easy to share and open more channels of dialogue about our reporting. We want conversation to stretch beyond our website and local airwaves, and this is one more effort to do that.

If you have any questions or feedback about the graphics, please do not hesitate to contact me. This is an ongoing experiment and we’ll be looking to improve it.

To receive the graphics, you must join a social media website and follow us. We’re currently on:

Facebook

• Instagram, which you can download for your phone. Once you have, search users for “voiceofsandiego.” (You can, however, see what we post on Instagram through a service called Statigram.)

Pinterest

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He writes about local government, creates infographics and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at keegan.kyle@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter (@keegankyle) and Facebook.

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