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How Newsrooms Can Get Young People Excited about News

How Newsrooms Can Get Young People Excited about News

Leonie Wunderlich talks about new approaches in journalism and how editorial teams can get young people excited about news in an interview with the German Newspaper Publishers and Digitalpublishers Association (BDZV). In her current study for the #UseTheNews project on the news literacy of teenagers and young adults in the digital media world, she specifically looked at young people who are less interested in information.
 
The focus group study showed that these teenagers and young adults do not find topics that are important to them in the reporting of the established media. To get them interested in journalism again, editorial offices should find new ways to establish a stronger connection to the reality of young people's lives and open up new perspectives, says Leonie Wunderlich
 
Media houses should present news in such a way that it is easy to understand - that means explaining foreign and technical terms, using simple language, and providing background information on complex topics. In addition, content should be designed to be as appealing as possible, i.e. above all visual, concise, and easy to understand. In addition, low information-oriented social media content creators attribute a variety of perspectives and relevance to their own opinion-forming. Interactive and collaborative projects, for example, are a very good way to get to know journalism and its working methods on the one hand and to be able to get involved at the same time.
 
An important general point is that young people in particular need to be informed in order to have a say - be it in conversations with friends, at school or in class or in family discussions. Group-related needs are particularly important for young people; they want to integrate into their circle of friends and need to be able to have a say. Another approach for editorial teams could therefore be to select topics with high potential for follow-up communication. In addition, "polarizing" topics can be prepared in such a way that pros and cons are weighed up and young people are given arguments on which they can base themselves in conversations and discussions and thus have their say. About the researcher:
 
Leonie Wunderlich is a research associate at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI). In the project "Use the News - News Usage and News Literacy in the Digital Age", she examines the question of how young people in Germany inform themselves and what role journalistic offerings play in it. As part of her master’s degree in "Journalism and Communication Studies" at the University of Hamburg, Leonie Wunderlich examined the news usage practices and news avoidance strategies of 18 to 24-year-olds.

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