OLD Media Moves

Poynter and Google News Initiative to help newsrooms reach young audiences

March 2, 2020

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

The Poynter Institute and Google News Initiative are collaborating to help three local newsrooms reach new young audiences through engaging, shareable social video storytelling.

The new program, “VidSpark,” will culminate with a playbook that local newsrooms across the country can use to engage younger people in their communities.

According to the partnership, each newsroom will receive $25,000 to build out and promote their video production efforts. Poynter will also provide intensive training and consultation to the newsrooms.

“Smart, creative video storytelling may be a real path for local news companies to reach younger audiences,” said Poynter president Neil Brown. “Our VidSpark project with GNI can be a lab to try new story forms and help newsrooms share their journalism with those who don’t currently feel compelled by the local news scene.”

“Poynter’s focus on sparking innovation in the news space is why they’ve been such a valuable partner for the GNI and our efforts supporting quality journalism,” said Chrissy Towle, head of news and local media, global partnerships at Google. “I’ve worked with local publishers at Google for six years and am excited to see how VidSpark can help them succeed on the twin goals of growing and diversifying their audience and finding new and creative ways to tell stories. As the web becomes more visual, this is a great way to help publishers connect with young people and in turn guide them to develop healthy news habits.”

Poynter and GNI had sought applications in the fall from local newsrooms around the country to participate in the project.

For more information about Poynter’s VidSpark project, please visit www.poynter.org/vidspark.

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