Eric’s Blog

What does factual content look like on different mediums?

To report on all platforms at all times demands different storytelling approaches: here’s how giving different news “mediums” what they want makes stories better for audiences.

No matter what the country or the culture, the days when the “news media” is a single, monolithic entity are long gone. To succeed in the news business now, the demand is to be on all platforms, at all times.

Today’s storytellers understand that audiences want it all, but the audience uses each medium for different reasons, and in different ways. To make the most out of the medium, use different approaches for each:

Television wants:

  • Showing “the moment” as it happens (or did happen)
  • Pictures at visually compelling locations
  • Interviews with key players not PR people
  • A strong connection between the story and the lives of ordinary people

Radio wants:

  • Provocative interviews with interesting, knowledgeable people
  • Live interviews in “drive time” (that’s the early morning or early evening period when their captive audience is stuck in traffic)
  • Interview partners who can take tough questions from interviewers and listeners, live

Print (that’s newspapers, magazines, and journals in case you forgot…) wants:

  • Experts who can speak about an issue in depth
  • …with strong opinions
  • … and who are capable of thoughtful analysis…
  • and yes, can explain it clearly to a reporter…

Online wants:

  • Something “authentic”, not polished; personal and subjective
  • an “edgy” approach: gossip, informal, fun, happening right now
  • interactivity with the audience and constantly updating with links, comments, and blogs

Tailor your content to reflect the characteristics of different media. Understand how each medium’s audience uses it, and why they do.