Annenberg TV News is in a unique position. While local news outlets throughout the country are trying to figure out ways to attract young viewers in addition to their older viewers, ATVN's primary audience is USC students–at least that is the demographic we focus our coverage toward. In that respect, especially since we have the option to be experimental, ATVN has the ability to be a leader in finding new ways to attract young audiences to watch our shows.
Before discussing the experimental aspects we can explore in order to appeal to these audiences, I think it's necessary to discuss one technique ATVN currently does not use but is essential in growing our audience. Every local station in the country utilizes social media to inform viewers about the content that is going to be in every show. This way the stations are telling potential viewers the aspects of the show that they might find interesting, and, if something does appeal to people, they might tune in, whereas, if they hadn't been informed of the story, they might not have turned the broadcast on.
ATVN isn't able to promote shows on social media easily. The newscast is under the broader umbrella of Annenberg Media, which has multiple different independent platforms. While we collaborate often, our social media accounts are meant for publishing stories, rather than promoting our newscast.
While this distinction makes sense, I think that, in order to expand our audience, we need to be sharing on social platforms what's going to be in the show in an attempt to reach people who otherwise wouldn't have watched but are intrigued by a guest we have, a story we're doing, etc. Without letting people know that ATVN exists, where people are able to watch it, providing details about why they should watch it, and so on, I don't think it's realistic to expect that USC students will take the time out of their days to watch the broadcasts.
Aside from the need to interest people in the show, there are more experimental things we can do to encourage people to tune in. For example, when we have live guests, they are often people who are experts in a particular field, who might be extremely knowledgeable about an important issue but might not be appealing to a large portion of the audience.
Instead, it would be smart for us to do a segment where we bring in a different accomplished USC student once a week who has done notable work that will be interesting for other students to know about. Along with being of interest to other students, these students will then have the ability to share our newscast on their social media accounts so the people they are connected to can see the interview. In this way, we're sharing information about the show that people may not have known about otherwise.
Ultimately, the biggest thing we can do is involve USC students more in our live coverage, beyond the typical man on the street interviews that appear in some stories. By giving students a stake in the newscast, we have the potential to cultivate a more consistent audience that is interested in the content because people they know are participating.