What would our world be like if every time we read a news article or watched a news video that really touched our hearts and compelled us to do something, we could link directly to a meaningful opportunity to take action? Something beyond, or in addition to, donating money or signing a petition? How can we link the news to meaningful actions in our own communities and our own lives and bring our friends, co-workers, or family along?
These are some of the ideas that emerge from Link TV’s recent white paper – Link News: Helping Youth Engage in the World.
The research was supported by the Knight Foundation and focused on how youth use news information and media, integrate it into their lives and connect it to their communities. Ultimately, the research informed the design of Link TV’s new video website Link News, a site that uses live semantic search to surround videos with relevant content (video, articles, and information).
I worked with Link TV to conduct the research and prepare the white paper. There is a full appendix of data to explore.
A couple of things stood out for me in this study–first the general passion of the youth we interviewed for their communities–it really felt like the interviewees were going to stick around in their communities and be the change, so to speak, rather than flee to some other “better” place. They seemed to take a long view of their community.
And second, it struck me how important it is to have good links to factual information that supports a news story, especially global news. The quality of education of young people is inconsistent and news organizations can’t assume consistent level of knowledge across their young viewers. While watching a video of Syrian troops shelling the port city of Latakia it is nice to have a scrolling window nearby that explains where Syria is located, for example, who the leader of Syria is, and something about the Syrian military. Some young viewers want to engage in global news and connect it with their own lives, but they don’t have basic knowledge to do so.
Given budget strapped schools, in California and elsewhere, public service media has a real opportunity to become part of the broader community’s public learning and civic infrastructure