New York March 6 (Us): If young people spend a lot of time on social media, it stands to reason that this would be a good place to reach them with news.
News traffic operators are betting their businesses on this intuition, the Associated Press reports.
The company, which has been in operation for more than a year, is hoping to succeed despite the press being littered with years of failed attempts to entice people in their 20s to become news consumers.
The brainchild of former Dow Jones executives, the News Movement uses a staff of reporters with an average age of 25 to create personalized news content for sites like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.
“You really have to stay humble and stay open to different directions and ideas,” said Ramin Beheshti, president and co-founder of the organization with former Dow Jones CEO Will Lewis. “We’ve built a newsroom that reflects the audience we’re trying to go after.”
Among the company’s newsrooms are TikTok videos for The Associated Press. The Associated Press provided office space for the company, and Lewis serves as vice chairman of its board of directors.
Some traditional journalistic content may be startled.
Acknowledging his friends’ appreciation for his laid-back videos, one staffer created a “caption” for the Snapchat midterm elections that uses video of a horse being groomed, pizza and flowers being prepared while an off-screen voice-over discusses politics.
In “Get Ready With Me,” two women are getting ready for work while talking about some things on the news.
There are more typical shows: video of the earthquake in Turkey, for example, and reports of President Biden’s proposals on abortion and social media. Explanatory stories take a step back to tell people why something is there.
Some of the stories aren’t really news at all, but stem from personal experience. A New York-based journalist wondered why the police didn’t immediately jump onto the subway tracks to rescue someone who had fallen in search only to find he was stopping trains.
Curious about why stories about strange things Floridians do are a staple of news coverage, one employee made a TikTok video explaining that it’s in part because police often release photos and details of incidents faster than other states.
There is also dependable content that does a service of sorts: asking guys on the street about some of the excuses they used to break up a date.
“The news isn’t always what you think it is,” said Jessica Quinn, US executive editor, who has held leadership roles on Mashable, Morning Brew, and The Cut.
Motion News isn’t trying to be an aggregator, Quinn said, covering every major headline. “We try to cover issues where we can provide context and clarity,” she said.
Story formats vary to reflect where it is placed. Most TikTok videos are about a minute long, while a YouTube video about women’s safety and how the London police react to cases of assault ran for about 14 minutes.
About 60% of people in Generation Z, or young adults through their mid-20s, say they receive news through social media, according to a study by Oliver Wyman and the News Movement. Other studies show that people in Generation Z have a lower opinion of traditional news outlets than older people.
Given this, the news movement believes that efforts by news organizations to attract young people to their sites or apps are a hard sell.
“News shouldn’t look like work,” Beheshti said. It should be part of your daily intake.
A person who sampled some of the News Movement’s TikTok stories gave a mixed review, saying they often focus on flash over substance.
They need to “read the room” better, said Gabriel Glenn Habron, a 21-year-old college student from Asheville, North Carolina, who studies journalism.
“I appreciate the effort,” he said. “It’s part of what the media should do more of just show effort.”
Often, those who try to attract young people don’t succeed because they really don’t understand who they’re trying to reach, said Linda Ellerbe, whose 1990s Nickelodeon shows “Nick News” set a model for success.
It is a mistake to think that Generation Z is apathetic; She said Generation led the way in protesting the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police.
“Most attempts to deliver news to young people fail because they underestimate the intelligence of their audience,” Ellerbe said.
“They straight talk to them. They assume they’re stupid because they’re young.”
One place where Ellerbee and the News Movement agree is how many people get frustrated with traditional news because they feel like they’re only getting a piece of a story, or that they’re sucked into a movie somewhere in the middle. This argues for more commentators.
The company’s research found that while young news consumers check information more easily than their older peers, they are also more likely to believe misinformation.
Because news is shaky as a business, the news movement has made diversification part of its model from the start. You will work with traditional news organizations and help them build their social media teams.
Traffic News advises brands on how to reach young consumers and bought Recount, which makes video content about US politics for social media and continues to operate as a separate unit.
“We can’t have one way to make money,” Beheshti said.