You all know the saying that our grandparents couldn’t have imagined all the information we carry in our pockets (with mobile phones and the Internet).
And what do we do with it? Watch videos about cute kittens and argue with strangers about nonsense.
Let’s admit it. Sometimes it feels frustrating to work in the news media, trying to do journalism while cats and tits get most of the clicks. Sometimes taking a shortcut in the content seems like a very tempting idea.
Once again, the point was proven two weeks ago.
It never ceases to amaze me how interested people are in naked bodies, even in Finland, which is pretty liberal. The oldest trick in the world is to get viewers to your weather broadcast by having a weather woman wear as little as possible.
So how do we make audiences interested in the news in a world that seems more and more focused on entertainment rather than news?
Do we make news more entertaining? No thanks, even though that has been tried, too, with celebrity news anchors.
No, the function of news is not to entertain, and people don’t consume news to be entertained. Instead, they watch, listen, or read news to get information and “structure the world” in their minds. It’s a completely different need.
That’s why there is no need to make news more entertaining. Quite the contrary. As we all know, the more reliable the better.
The highlight of my week last week was this video. It was our most viewed video last week, and it strengthened my belief in quality content — and that it is what our audience appreciates.
The video was produced by Expressen, which gave cameras to two Syrian woman who secretly filmed life under ISIS in Raqqa. We bought the video from Expressen, translated it by making text and voice over, and published it.
The success of the video proves that this is what audience still wants — content that helps them understand current issues, made local by text/language, and an article explaining the issue from their cultural point of view. That’s why most of the Finns watch it from our site, even though the video was also available on many international sites.