(ETX Daily Up) – It’s a fact: young people don’t get the information their elders do. They prefer social networks and the Internet to newspaper and television news. The media have understood this well and are multiplying initiatives to attract this audience, born during the democratization of the Internet. Decryption.
Contrary to what one might think, young people do not turn their backs on the news. They just want it to reflect their concerns. According to a recent study by the News Media Alliance, Americans aged 21 to 29 would like to read about the climate emergency, women’s rights, and social justice. “Generation Z wants to see themselves in the media and they want to feel recognized,” says the American professional organization.
Based on this observation, the Washington Post announced its intention to create a “welfare” section of about fifteen journalists. He will be overseen by Tara Parker-Pope, who launched the New York Times Well’s health vertical. The aim of this new department is to cover a wide range of topics related to health and wellness with a factual and scientific approach.
While the Post already covers health and medical news, this new section will feature helpful articles that answer questions from the public about mental health, sports, and the pandemic. According to Chrissa Thompson, Diversity and Inclusion Editor at the Post, these are especially important topics for young people. “They tell us that this is what they want and expect from us,” she told The Press Gazette.
Another big concern for Post readers, especially young people: the environment and global warming. The American daily planned to intensify its efforts to address the problem by hiring about twenty journalists. They will draw on “a wide variety of storytelling formats and social platforms to engage diverse audiences of all ages in journalism that is innovative, explanatory and relevant,” Sally Bazby, editor of the day, said in a memo.
War in Ukraine through the eyes of TikTok
If the Washington Post is expanding its editorial spectrum to appeal to an increasingly militant audience, Sky News is relying on TikTok. A British news channel recently crossed the symbolic milestone of one million followers on the social networking site that has recently become the media of choice for the younger generation. A feat considering Sky News posted its first video on the platform in mid-March. The Daily Mail is the only UK publication to top the TikTok channel with over 3.7 million followers.
Many internet users follow the Sky News TikTok account to learn about the development of the war in Ukraine. One of the most popular videos of the British channel on the platform is a report from Kyiv by Stuart Ramsay. This 56-second interview with a 21-year-old Ukrainian soldier was viewed by more than 30 million people. “We do not dilute the content and do not use the services of other intermediaries. [sur TikTok]we’re using our experienced correspondents to explain what’s going on and tell the stories of those affected by the war,” Cristina Nicolotti Squires, director of content for Sky News, told The Press Gazette.
Other publications, such as BBC News, have infiltrated the social network, where short news digests have replaced dance challenges since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Like Sky News, the non-stop news channel broadcasts mini-rolls showing Russian tank advances, bombing-related devastation, or the daily lives of the Ukrainians left behind. One of them, which tells about the plight of Irina, who had to bury her son herself after he was killed by Russian soldiers, has gained more than 596,000 views on TikTok.
In recent years, traditional media have stepped up their efforts to strengthen their online presence, especially on social media. They hope to seduce the target of the “digital natives”, these post-1984 digitally fed young people and fans of information content meant to be read (and especially viewed) on a smartphone. The game is worth the candle. If the younger generation no longer recognizes itself in the current media offering, they say they are willing to pay for quality information. “Generation Z is new news subscribers and the media must be prepared to do whatever it takes to attract them and keep them as loyal readers,” said Rebecca Frank, vice president of the News Media Alliance. “It’s not just about news, it’s about all content.”