|SEARCHING FOR YOUTH|
How are media organizations changing the formats of their news to appeal to a younger audience? CNN Headline News anchor Robin Meade and Carl Gottlieb of the Project for Excellence in Journalism respond to your questions.
Online NewsHour asks:
Amy, a teenage visitor to our educational Web site, Online NewsHour Extra, said the following about news presentation:
I think that young people are looking for a news report that tells us what's going on in a straightforward, casual way. I, for one, HATE it when the reporter tells us the latest news, gives us all this information -- but they do it all in a totally monotonous voice! You almost fall asleep just listening to it!
Also, the news goes way too slowly -- most of us only catch snippets of it as we're on our way to work or to meet friends, so we need to get all the relevant information quickly and easily. It would help it the news people did issues that interested us.
I would bet my life on the fact that when I go home and watch the news this evening, 3/4 of it will be on grim news issues - murder trials, what's going on in Afghanistan.... Geez, that's what I want to hear about - not! Think lighter, more casual stories, like the birth of a new polar bear in a zoo, or something that will catch our attention.
Please -- we need something faster, lighter, more casual, otherwise we'll be likely to not watch any news at all.
How would you respond to Amy’s concerns?
I believe Amy's concerns are those of many young people. The problem may be that Amy gets her news from too few sources. If Amy is interested in lighter news she can certainly find it on-line, by watching more feature-oriented TV information programs and reading newsmagazines aimed at lighter news.
However, I think balance is they key. Without the "heavier" news you run the risk of being a poorly informed person which affects your ability to make important decisions in everyday life. It's sort of like always eating your dessert and leaving the nutritional parts of your meal on the plate. You may be full, but it's all empty calories.
Given the state of the world today it's more important to have a solid understanding of current events than ever before.
Amy, I appreciate your opinion about news and your suggestions about what would interest you. I have to say that if the news you've been watching seems slow -- at the risk of sounding self-serving -- you may want to try Headline News.
Our format is geared toward people with busy lives who only have a few minutes to catch up on news and information. I hope you'll find that we deliver the news in a way that is fast-paced, interesting and informative and that we cover stories that you’ll find "light" or less hard-news related.
With that said, you should know that you will be getting information about what's going on in Afghanistan, the war on terrorism and other "hard" news issues of the day. These issues are of monumental importance and have a bearing on many lives, including yours. Give us a try and let me know what you think!
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