BBC News Minute shares 5 tips on how to reach a young audience

This punchy 60-second bulletin is a global news summary beamed on 33 radio stations across the world

Melissa Tsungai Zisengwe
Sep 30 · 4 min read
Image: Thomas Le/Unsplash

Phillippa Guillou, Broadcast Journalist at BBC Minute tells us about the programme and gives a few tips for anyone wanting to try this model of doing news.

BBC Minute was launched globally on 1 April 2015 and the idea was to try and reach a new kind of audience. The 1-minute news bulletin is aimed at digitally connected audiences. It is updated every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and summarises the latest international news headlines and trending topics.

“The world is changing, we are not living in the same world that older generations did anymore and people do not consume news in the same way they did back then, with the rise of the internet, social media. With things like Twitter, news is accessible whenever you want it. News is more easily and widely accessible and its a lot more fast-paced. So BBC Minute was invented to try and fit in that change,”explains Guillou.

Picture: BBCMinute Facebook Page

“The bulletin is about what do you need to know in a minute regarding what’s happening around the world. If we had to tell you five things that are happening in the world right now what would they be? The goal is to reach people on the minute.”

The broadcast journalists further added that, “We are not saying to our audience you only need these stories in your life and you will know about everything, what we are saying is we can tell you the headlines of today. So we are giving them a nugget of information and influencing them to research for themselves.”

The leading story on the bulletin is often a story that is trending on social media, even if its not a hard news story. She says it is difficult sometimes because in some cases you have got many news items trending on social media around the world. To pick stories to put on the bulletin BBC Minute uses some tools and software programmes that basically help them look at what is trending, for example, they can use the tools to click on South Africa and find out what people in South Africa are talking about.

“We look at all types of news — hard news, sport, tech, sport, lifestyle etc. We try to have fun as well, quirky funny stories that will make people smile.”

The bulletin goes out in a lot of stations in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America. “We really are starting to see that while we started with an African focus we have realised that the other parts of the world are interested in joining BBC Minute,” she says.

Commenting on their audience reach, Guillou says it is difficult to collect data on the bulletin’s reach as it is beamed on different commercial radio stations around the world and also on Alexa, Spotify. However, she mentions that they do have some statistics that show that from four of their partner stations there are about 5 million people listening to the podcast.

To ensure that news in every part of the world is covered BBC Minute has journalists in some of the countries where the bulletin is broadcasted.

Global news in 60 seconds! Here’s how BBC Minute does it. Five tips to reach a young audience from BBC Minute

Guillou says newsrooms across the world could learn from BBC Minute and they should think about how they write and read the news as times have changed. “Think about is it being accessible to young people, the language you are using — Is it language and words you can use in a conversation? We have to change the language we use and stop using stereotypical journalistic words that won’t mean anything to our audience,” she said.

BBC Minute is available for download on iTunes and will also be distributed via partnerships with radio music stations around the world, particularly those aimed at younger listeners.

jamlab

The JAMLAB Newsletter is produced by Wits Journalism. The Journalism and Media Lab, Tshimologong Digitial Innovation Precinct, Johannesburg supports innovators to bring new information, new ideas and new conversations to new audiences in Africa.

Melissa Tsungai Zisengwe

Written by

Journalist at Jamlab &Civic tech-enthusiast at Civic Tech Innovation Network- Wits Journalism School.

jamlab

jamlab

The JAMLAB Newsletter is produced by Wits Journalism. The Journalism and Media Lab, Tshimologong Digitial Innovation Precinct, Johannesburg supports innovators to bring new information, new ideas and new conversations to new audiences in Africa.

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