Every good news organization has some way of reaching its audience when they’re on-the-go. There are tweets and push notifications and app updates. But there are also live social media news shows, streaming videos and daily podcasts. We want to celebrate all the innovation in the digital news space with our third annual streaming awards.
Twitter added its live component in 2016, but it wasn’t until 2017 that it really took off with the news media industry, and now there are a number of news producers using it to not only cover breaking news, but to host regularly scheduled news programs. So, who’s doing it well?
Bloomberg’s TicToc. The 24/7 streaming news Twitter channel covers all the topics you’d expect Bloomberg to cover, but through short, shareable videos. You can watch for 30 seconds or 10 minutes, depending on how much news you’re looking to ingest at any moment. Their morning update covers multiple stories in about 10 minutes, while new single-topic videos are tweeted throughout the day, allowing you to go more in-depth with whatever story has caught your attention, whether it’s hard news or a human-interest feature.
Cheddar. Despite their name, Cheddar’s news is anything but cheesy – covering business, tech and media news. Its live show runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is appropriately filmed at the New York Stock Exchange. Cheddar runs during business hours, when their audience is most in need of the type of news Cheddar shares, but if you miss a segment live, don’t worry — Cheddar’s videos live on their Twitter feed, and you can pop in and out of segments whenever you want to catch up.
BuzzFeed’s AM to DM. The pop culture morning show that lives on Twitter and in the Periscope app, AM to DM airs at 10 a.m. EST, and works like a typical morning news talk show — think The Today Show, but for millennials. Covering all things pop culture, from the #MeToo movement and the shift in LGBTQ+ acceptance, to the must-hear summer songs and what to binge-watch next, the show is the perfect start to the day for anyone who wants some entertainment with their information.
Not into Twitter news? Instagram is a great platform for getting information on the go. From in-feed videos to Instagram Stories to the newly launched IGTV, which allows for long-form video, the photo- and video-sharing app gives you a slew of options for getting your daily dose of news. Everyone from social-based news sites to traditional media are turning to Instagram to reach the growing news audience, so they’ll never run out of innovative and engaging ways to get the news. What are our Instagram must-views?
The Guardian. A good old-fashioned print paper that started in 1821, The Guardian has nonetheless embraced the web and all the newest ways of telling stories that the digital landscape has to offer. And where they shine most is on Instagram. The paper uses their Instagram feed to share photos and short videos that correspond to their print and digital articles, making sure they’re finding readers wherever they are. But it’s The Guardian’s Instagram Stories that really make a splash. Using a mix of photos and videos, the paper strings together a Story across anywhere from a few slides to a few dozen, giving followers a chance to see an article brought to life before swiping up to read the full piece.
NowThis. This app-based news source has a website, but all of their content is made for social media first. Their primary distribution channel is Instagram, and they’ve recently expanded their presence on that platform to utilize the new IGTV feature. On the NowThis channel, you get longer videos than you do in their feed, and without the interruptions between clips that come from stringing videos together in Stories. They also use multiple channels, allowing followers to choose whether they want to follow all the news or just one segment, like NowThis Her, NowThis Money or NowThis Entertainment.
Cookie The News. Although Cookie The News is only updated occasionally, the Instagram feed is a must for news junkies. Using cookies and icing to illustrate a major news event every month or so, Cookie The News adds levity to your newsfeed by not taking itself or the news too seriously. Past cookie news events include the death of Koko the gorilla, and the race between Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and a (computer-generated) great white shark.
For companies hoping to reach Generation Z, Snapchat has proven to be invaluable, but the app is still underutilized by news organizations.
NBC’s Stay Tuned. When you think of NBC, you probably think of legacy network television, with programs such as The Today Show and The Tonight Show. But the network is also pioneering Snapchat news, attracting millions of subscribers to its app-based show, Stay Tuned. Original news content is loaded twice a day on weekdays, and once a day on weekends, and viewers have 24 hours to watch it before it disappears, as Snapchat is a more ephemeral platform than any other.
Snapchat News. Using crowdsourced Snaps from users, Snapchat’s news updates give users a chance to learn about the top stories of the day from the people who were there. Snap editors are responsible for curating the content and adding the story text to the thread, but all visuals come from users who are on the ground. The innovative channel, found in the app’s Discover panel, lets users not only get the news, but see how their peers are experiencing the story in real time. Snap also has an interactive map that allows anyone, in app or online, to check out Snap “hot zones,” where users are posting tons of content. There you’ll find anything from tourists posting vacation Snaps of Washington, D.C., to breaking news about someone scaling the Statue of Liberty, to Snaps of daily life in Iraq.
Refinery29. Focused on millennial and Gen Z women, Refinery29 uses their Snap channel to share visually-engaging stories with their audience. Not only do they tell complete stories in the app, but they will often include interview subjects’ social followings, showing that not only are users flocking to new platforms and apps for news, but that the newsmakers are on there, too.
Facebook is synonymous with social media, and there are few businesses — news organizations included — that don’t have a Facebook page. But not everyone is using their page to their advantage. The platform gives users a multitude of ways to connect with followers, and using those modes well isn’t always easy. However, there are plenty of news outlets that are delivering quality content worth following, especially quality video.
AJ+. Part of the Al Jazeera Network, AJ+ has become a star of social media news. Their videos, shared largely on Facebook, attract anywhere from a few thousand to a few million viewers. By covering topics as diverse as art history references in a Beyonce video and puppies in Chernobyl to the rescue of a soccer team from a cave in Thailand, they give viewers all the news and entertainment they could desire, and they do it in short, digestible, engaging clips.
The Telegraph. A daily British newspaper, The Telegraph has become a go-to for live Facebook video news. Streaming live from Parliament during important speeches and producing videos on important U.K. and global news stories, The Telegraph stays in front of readers even when they haven’t had time to read the paper, ensuring they reach a larger audience than their print circulation would cover.
Yahoo! Finance. The internet’s first favorite search engine-turned-media company, one of Yahoo!’s star brands is Yahoo! Finance and its daily Facebook shows. On weekdays the page hosts several live financial talk shows, while single-topic videos posted throughout the week allow viewers to watch only the stories that most intrigue them. The mix of live and pre-taped video means they have fresh content any time you log in, perfect for keeping users hooked.
Does your newsroom have a livestream we should be checking out? Tweet your links to us at @NewsAlliance.
Jennifer Peters is former content manager of the News Media Alliance.