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Can The Washington Post Report On The Economy With Instagram?

Submitted by on October 10, 2011 – 10:11 am4 Comments

According to the experts, the recession technically ended in June 2009.  But to the rest of us, it certainly doesn’t feel that way.

That’s one of the reasons the Washington Post has launched coverage called “Unfiltered 2012.” According to their announcement, it aims to “strip away the political rhetoric with photos—specifically your photos.” This latest initiative seeks to answer the question, “What does the economy look like where you live?

The Post is asking readers to participate using the popular iPhone and iPod photography app, Instagram. Participants can explain in the caption why they think their photo expresses the current state of the economy, and should include the tag #econdebate.

Photos are being displayed on the Post’s Web site in conjunction with their upcoming Republican presidential debate on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

But some have criticized the Post‘s initiative for leaving out those who could best document the hardship of the economy.

“…we wonder if the people best positioned to participate in this project are in possession of iPhones,” wrote Lauren Indvik at Mashable.

Instagram is still available only for iPhone and iPod Touch. A 2010 study from The Nielsen Company showed that iPhone users tend to be wealthier and better educated than even other smartphone users, suggesting they would be less affected by the economic downturn. However, 2009 statistics show that iPod Touch users are younger and somewhat less affluent.

In answer to the question, “What if I don’t have any iPhone?,” the Post only provides a form to sign up for “future Unfiltered 2012 projects.”

What do you think? Will this coverage give an accurate view of the economy? Will you participate?

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