Canva, a design software maker, has experienced a growth explosion in its 10 years on the market, with an increasing number of newsrooms worldwide logging in.

The online graphic design platform has thousands of design templates and millions of stock assets, such as photos, text, videos, audio and animation. Most are free; some are available for a small fee. 

In a workshop co-hosted by the New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative, Genae Shields and Justice Marbury demonstrated some of the platform’s tools. The webinar was the second in a series of workshops titled Storytelling Strategies for Journalists.

Social media is a quick way to amplify news audience, says Shields, a reporting fellow for the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York.

The platform is user-friendly, detailed, adds creativity to stories, and users can collaborate on projects with others. It can even be used on a phone to create social cards, flyers or posters for events, videos, presentations, and a lot more. Journalists are using it to create online galleries, slide posts, reel covers or transitions, and Instagram posts.

Shields says that adding social posts with Canva covers have higher engagement. Younger audiences tend to repost and are more inclined to share things that are aesthetically pleasing.

Watch the video replay of the webinar for tricks and tips.