The creative atmosphere at the HugoDécrypte editorial office, ready to welcome one of the 12 presidential candidates, lends itself to playing a political interview in the style of 24-year-old Hugo Travers, a YouTuber who has become a source of information on social networks.
Thursday, February 24, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine surprises the world, it is the turn of Communist candidate Fabien Roussel to record an episode of the political program Interview with a Hidden Face, co-produced by YouTube channel HugoDécrypte. and audiovisual giant Mediawan launched in February.
Twenty minutes before the nominee, the channel’s founder arrives: Hugo Travers, the “little” social media news prodigy who, at 1.90m tall, discusses the latest adjustments before filming a 30-minute interview.
“Making news accessible” to his generation (18-24 year olds): it was with this “mission” that the Franco-British started himself when, as soon as he entered Sciences-Po Paris, he founded HugoDécrypte at the end of 2015.
From his confidential start on YouTube in front of the camera, Clément Lano – one of the new names in independent journalism who has since gone – to his small business that is available on all social networks, Hugo Travers presents an impeccable career.
– Stopwatch –
Becoming an information brand, HugoDécrypte has more followers than other media: 1.9 million followers on TikTok, 1.6 million on Instagram, over 540,000 on YouTube, 306,000 on Twitter, over 214,000 on Twitch for “Mashup” , weekly news. the show started in January.
“Even on TikTok, we can talk about serious topics and we are able to build an audience because there is interest in the news among young people, especially when we see the scale of current topics,” he assures us, according to AFP.
“It’s all about making it understandable and shaping it into form and content so that it speaks as well as possible,” by adapting the codes specific to each social network, the journalist adds.
Hence the information strategy in the form of nesting dolls: on YouTube, daily ten-minute news sits next to longer formats. On Instagram, short, written posts summarize the news, while on TikTok, minute-long videos, especially those about presidential candidates, hit the mark, garnering hundreds of thousands of views.
One of the most popular is the stopwatch sequence, which requires candidates to answer yes or no within 60 seconds to a maximum number of questions.
The moment they are afraid of is confirmed by responsible journalists, especially since they are embarrassed by the seemingly playful emission device: if a smiley face hides a type of question that can go from archive to interrogation of another candidate, the essence remains serious.
“We didn’t know anything before coming and the surprise means we can’t cheat,” Fabien Roussel assures at the end of the interview.
– 20 year old editor –
But sometimes candidates who are able to appeal to a young audience will “play out” relaxed or familiarity, with relaxed expressions or familiarity, in front of a host and a team of about fifteen people, mostly the elderly in their twenties.
“Our audience, accustomed to consuming a lot of content, cannot be deceived. Just because we’re young doesn’t mean we can’t see it,” the employee comments.
With this well-informed community slowly expanding to more than 25 people, the HugoDécrypte team prefers dialogue, even if it means revising content with their comments in mind, as in February with the transcript video by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whose relevance was put under doubt.
“As a media outlet, we don’t have the absolute truth about what’s important. Without being completely malleable, I don’t think we should stay in our ivory tower thinking we know the right way to approach a topic,” says Hugo Travers. From September he will no longer represent HugoDécrypte alone and is already thinking about diversifying his decryption formats.