Reinventing Television News: Innovative
Formats in a Social Media Environment
Jose A. García-Avilés
Abstract Television news consumption is declining, while videos on YouTube and
social media are on the rise. Newscasts seem unable to attract a young audience
that actively engages online. The purpose of our study is to establish how television
news could be renovated by selecting the experts’ proposals and by exploring case
studies of innovative audio-visual news formats. We posed two research questions:
(a) How television newscasts could be renewed in the stages of production, edition,
presentation and distribution? (b) Which news formats are innovating in storytelling
and connecting with audiences? Our ﬁndings suggest that young audiences must
be taken seriously by broadcasters for their long-term future. The experts suggest
ways to experiment with new languages, diversify the news offer, foster journalists’
communicative skills and increase interaction with users.
Keywords Newscasts ·News formats ·Innovation ·Journalism ·Television
1 Newscasts Are Becoming Increasingly Irrelevant
Television is losing its dominant position as the main news medium. Traditional
broadcast news consumption is declining, while online video in YouTube, websites
and social media is on the rise. In the United States, television consumption has
declined by 3% since 2012, while the audience of newscasts is getting increasingly
older: the average age of CNN viewers is 61 years, of MSNBC is 63, of CBS and
ABC, 64, and of Fox News is 68 years, according to Nielsen (2018).
In Spain, the consumption of linear television reaches 236 min a day. It continues
to be the main source of information and leisure for most of the population, although
the growth of non-linear television is unstoppable. Broadcasts news still reaches
relevant audiences, mostly in news, sports and live shows. Considering the top ﬁve
generalist national channels, 16 million viewers watch regularly a newscast in Spain
and there are several newscasts among the most watched daily programs (Barlovento
J. A. García-Avilés (B)
Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Spain
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
J. Vázquez-Herrero et al. (eds.), Journalistic Metamorphosis,
Studies in Big Data 70, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-36315-4_11
144 J. A. García-Avilés
However, the decline in television consumption among young people is more
pronounced for news programs. Although many people over 55 consume television
regularly, the news are no longer of interest to most of the under 30 years old, who
have practically abandoned newscasts (Newman et al. 2018). Some studies show that
youngsters are not interested in broadcast news and that it is difﬁcult to reconcile
these age segments with newscasts, because the format requires minimal attention
that these young multitaskers are not willing to give (Drok et al. 2018).
Since its inception, television has incorporated technological advances in news
gathering, production and presenting. But the essence is always the same: a presen-
ter who conducts a narrative of fragmentary pieces that make up a supra-story of
current events that intent to be decisive for public conversation. In the horizontal
communication ecosystem of the Network Society, the newscast’s narrative has sev-
eral problems (Canter 2018). It is a vertical communication, which originates from a
professional authority, the anchor, who speaks directly to the audience. A newscast
cannot be presented by a social media ‘friend’. It provides an edited version of the
news, both structured and hierarchical, just the opposite of what interactive users are
supposed to want. It represents immediacy through live broadcasting, but it cannot
compete with the instantaneity of the Internet (Kalogeropoulos and Nielsen 2018).
It is a one-way narration that does not allow interaction with the audience and it has
lost the monopoly of today’s pictures, which originate in social media. For all these
reasons, newscasts may be unattractive to the youngest.
As Terán (2017) argues, daily newscasts currently are a summary of press con-
ferences and soundbites, a compilation of pieces cut by the same pattern and homo-
geneous contents so that the news provided by the different channels resemble each
other a lot. Thus, newscasts are an obsolete format in the current environment of
instant, on-demand and cross-platform information (Noguera Vivo 2018).
If the television networks do not react to the decrease in the consumption of
broadcast news, newscasts will soon be irrelevant. The formula that for decades has
supported the newscast based on a summary of the highlights of today in the midday
and evening editions has become obsolete, because in the age of social media and
a continuous 24-h news ﬂow, people already know the news. Therefore, newscasts
need to reinvent themselves if they do not want to become irrelevant.
2 Innovating in Television News Formats
Innovation always involves risks. It brings about change or discontinuity, both in
terms of the transformation of an idea into a reality and in terms of its impact on the
organizations and society. To innovate implies developing a new concept, product
or service in a speciﬁc market, in a disruptive way, that is, that this novelty alters
the traditional way in which things have been done (García-Avilés et al. 2018a).
Media innovation does not only involve the development of a technological process
or service, but the effect of improving a news product, increasing the company’s
reputation or providing a competitive advantage (García-Avilés et al. 2018b).
Reinventing Television News: Innovative Formats in a Social … 145
Broadcast news innovation requires a multidisciplinary approach to connect with
the needs of the public, because audiences change even more than technologies
and are the focus of innovation processes (Virta and Lowe 2016). The relation-
ship between the media and the users is no longer unidirectional, but bidirectional
and interactive. In addition, the user is a prosumer and participates in the creation
of content. As users’ needs and preferences evolve, media companies must adapt
and develop new storytelling formats, distribution channels, business models and
processes of users’ interaction with content (Khajeheian and Friedrichsen 2017).
In this way, innovation in journalism should not be based exclusively on tech-
nology to produce the news, but also in the narratives and storytelling formats. As
Miriam Hernanz, head of the RTVE Lab, argues, “it is not that journalism is inno-
vative, but that narrative techniques are innovative. Journalism consists in telling
stories with sources, facts and data. The way you must adapt your storytelling is
what innovation means” (in García-Avilés et al. 2016: 187).
According to the BBC The Future of News Report (2015), audiovisual media face
demanding challenges, such as the dissemination of content on multiple platforms,
the commitment to interactive narratives and the need to manage Big Data. It is thus
necessary to experiment with new languages, establish greater complicity between
the media and the audience, incorporate journalists and presenters with whom young
people feel identiﬁed and increase interaction with users (Kalogeropoulos et al.
2016). Some television producers are promoting initiatives to experiment with the
news, but they are not able to change the newscasts, because these shows have become
well established structures, where what always works is rewarded and anything new
3 Research Objectives and Methodology
The purpose of our study is to establish how television news could be renovated, by
collecting the opinions of the experts and their proposals, and by exploring audio-
visual formats that are innovating in producing news content for younger audiences.
We posed two research questions:
RQ1: How television newscast could be renewed in the different stages of production,
edition, presentation and distribution?
RQ2: What are the key elements of news formats which are innovating in storytelling
and connecting with younger audiences?
An online questionnaire with professionals and experts was conducted in order
to explore the current state of television news and to ﬁnd out their opinion about
how to innovate in designing, producing and distributing audiovisual news content.
The sample was selected using a snowball method, among a list of 30 potential
subjects, who were invited to take part in the survey. We received sixteen answers
(a 54% response rate). All respondents currently work or have worked in television
news; six work in public channels; three in commercial channels; ﬁve are university
professors and two are consultants. Seven are female and nine are male, ranging from
33 to 65 years old.
146 J. A. García-Avilés
The questionnaire consisted of three open ended questions: (1) Do you think TV
news is in crisis? Why? (2) How can the traditional news format be reinvented? (3)
Do you have any speciﬁc proposals to innovate in producing, editing, presenting or
distributing television news? The answers were coded and analyzed, selecting the
most relevant parts of the responses and identifying key themes and proposals.
We also analyzed a sample of innovative audio-visual news formats, developed
by public and private broadcasters as well as digital native media. During a period
of six months, we conducted research on databases and trade publications, and we
identiﬁed different news formats. We then viewed samples of all them and selected
six cases which were most relevant and innovative for the aim of this investigation.
Those cases were then analyzed in order to identify the main elements in the format,
exploring both their production process and their impact on the audience.
4 Experts’ Perceptions About the Future of Newscasts
4.1 The Crisis of Television News
There is no unanimity about whether newscasts are facing a crisis. Most respondents
agree that the traditional model of a self-contained programme which provides the
news of the day at a speciﬁc time has become obsolete. Others argue that it is not
so much a crisis but a transformation. In the words of a reporter, “it’s not a crisis of
TV news, but of those professionals who produce TV news in the same way it has
always been done”.
Several experts agree that television news is facing multiple crises in audience,
content, competition and in its public service function. Given the multiplication of
news available in the market, the traditional viewing experience is disappearing, and
there is a less proactive public that seeks the news through television. “Producers
still do not understand that the model of one direction communication is dead; they
have not changed their way of doing the news for decades”, says one academic.
As one journalist puts it, “newscasts continue in the twentieth century while
viewers are in the twenty ﬁrst century”, consuming the news through social media
in various platforms. “News formats keep reproducing a formula that worked for
many decades but now, at the conﬂuence between television, Internet and social
media, is substantially modiﬁed”, argues one interviewee. “TV news should have
more inﬂuence on ‘the how’ and ‘the why’ of current events, since it cannot compete
with the immediacy of social media”, says one anchor.
According to some respondents, newscasts have long prioritized the function of
entertaining without contextualizing the important issues. “The newscast is produced
within a perverse dynamic: the golden minute; scarce international information;
stories with little context…”, explains a former TV journalist.
The credibility crisis is related to the diminishing of trust on television as a news
medium, by its lack of independence from the political agents. In addition, some
Reinventing Television News: Innovative Formats in a Social … 147
respondents argue that both public and commercial channels have been making con-
cessions to populism and sensationalism, which have undermined their prestige as
sources of serious information. Therefore, journalists need to be rigorous, checking
the news and avoiding sensationalist content.
There is a consensus that quality, fact-checking, veriﬁcation and contextualization
are some of the values that news programs must incorporate. The concept of hard
news is ﬂeeting, while opinion is mixed with news and entertainment. Social media
have become a popular source of news, but they should be used with journalistic
Nevertheless, several respondents argue that newscasts are not in crisis because
most citizens still demand reliable and quality information. What has changed is the
conception of traditional television, as a result of connectivity and the fragmentation
of consumption in multiple devices and platforms. “Television is still the medium
through which more people are informed and, above all, those who do not read the
newspaper, who are increasingly more”, says one reporter.
Several experts argue that television news will survive because the media face a
permanent transformation, mainly due to a slow adaptation to the new technological
paradigm of the Internet. The difﬁculty lies in maintaining current production, which
still works among the older audience, and simultaneously creating something new
for digital interactive platforms. “The problem is that most channels are reluctant to
innovate. Most of the newscasts around the world resemble each other as drops of
water”, says one academic.
4.2 How to Reinvent the Traditional Newscast
Many respondents agree that producers should strengthen the basic journalistic val-
ues: news investigation and a vocation to tell the world through the eyes of its
reporters. Newscasts should increase interpretation and analysis, offering viewers
the key elements to understand what happens, allowing them to have their own
opinion. Producers should also implement more innovation in storytelling and news
supported by graphics, interactive tools and quality pictures.
From the technical perspective, newscasts are incorporating elements of Artiﬁcial
Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Immersive Jour-
nalism and 360º video, in which the viewer is directly connected to the news in real
time. One interviewee says that in focus groups about using VR, people have been
very reticent about VR in certain type of news: they do not want to ‘get inside’ of
events such as wars, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. She recommends adopting
AR formats, especially in sports news and weather forecasts. However, some pro-
fessionals emphasize that technological advances are not the only way to renew the
Another common plea is more interaction with the public. “We must open the
newscast to audience participation; it is the only way for many younger viewers to
connect with a product which seems too traditional for them”, states on expert. In
148 J. A. García-Avilés
this sense, the idea of participation must permeate the whole productive process:
television journalists cannot remain alien to the conversation. It is useless to invite
the public to take part if their contribution is not visible in any way. It is necessary
to increase this interaction. For example, some channels are testing how journalists
and viewers collaborate through news tips, access to sources, research support, etc.
There are also recurrent complaints that journalists and news editors do not listen
to the audience. Instead, newscasters tend to focus on political conﬂicts, crime and
bad news, to the detriment of those things what people care about. Some respondents
argue that newscasts must be more open, giving ‘the control of television’ to the
viewers, who could then choose the subjects that interest them. “It will be the viewers
who make their own run, not us who impose the script of what they should watch”,
says one journalist.
Other experts suggest designing newscasts as a product in the value chain of a
‘news factory’, including news alerts, breaking news video, live narration in social
media, as well as analytical reports and in-depth investigations. Each story should
ﬁnd the most appropriate format and platform to reach the public in an effective way.
One academic also recommends creating listening mechanisms (surveys, scrutiny of
the conversation in social networks, interaction).
4.3 Proposals for Innovating in Television News
The experts made many proposals, integrating elements of television news produc-
tion, editing, presentation and distribution. We select the most relevant ones.
News production. Gatekeeping could be enhanced, giving coverage to the news that
interests the audience and opening it to topics that have been covered from alternative
sources or social media. Second screen tools could allow expanding the news on air
and generating participatory dynamics which could be turned into content streams
that can be easily visualized, such as surveys, viewers’ comments, chats, etc.
Some experts recommend trying longer formats, more contextualized and in-depth
that allow the viewer to choose how to move through the story. The current formats
are too homogeneous and sometimes relegate important news to a mere voiceover
narration. It is essential to manage the time of each news piece: not all should last the
same. “We must edit and make news stories as autonomous pieces so that any image
will have a text on it for the viewer to understand the story”, argues one respondent.
Other proposals regarding the production of newscasts include:
•Access to automatic transcripts of scripts and videos;
•Producing content that could be consumed without presenters, reporting in a more
proactive way and eliminating barriers with viewers;
•Checking sources and data automatically in real time, for example, during an
interview. Also answering questions from the audience in real time.
Reinventing Television News: Innovative Formats in a Social … 149
News editing. Several respondents emphasize that the most urgent need is to recover
credibility, offering relevant news that will once again fulﬁll the function for which
the newscasts were created: helping the public to understand the world. “You must
also apply criteria of rigor and quality in international or cultural news, which have
been displaced by infotainment or impact stories”, a TV reporter says.
Newscasts must diagnose social change, including topics of interest and reshaping
the agenda, giving more weight to the human factor, making more visible those
people who have something to say instead of those who are in ‘the ofﬁcial agendas’.
Producers need to understand that the world has changed, and the relevant issues are
also different. One academic anticipated “shorter newscasts, combined with large
programs where information, opinion and news are mixed”.
Television should give voice to the whole of society: to politicians, only when
their message is relevant and based on their representativeness; to the experts, indi-
cating ascriptions and possible conﬂicts of interest; to unions, employers and social
organizations that represent a relevant position; and to the concerns, demands, joys,
and pains of the citizens. “This cannot be done by any algorithm, only with profes-
sional criteria, always fallible, but capable of listening, rectifying and giving voice
to those who do not have it”, adds one academic.
The journalist’s job is to make the important things attractive. And the best way
to do so is to promote audiovisual narration with sound storytelling that avoids
turning the newscast into a succession of talking heads and unconnected videos. The
content could be personalised in other platforms, but the newscasts should highlight
the essential issues of public interest, with professional criteria. News and opinion
converted into a show may be legitimate in other programs, but not in a newscast.
But this does not mean that the news should be boring.
News presentation. Presenters should focus more on checking the news and provid-
ing context, explaining why it is important what they tell the audience. In order to
innovate, the editorial team must strengthen its ability to present content of inter-
est, focused on key issues and differentiated from other channels. They must offer
something different to the digital platforms, exploiting the quality and potential of
It is essential that the news presenter establishes a bond of trust with the viewers,
telling stories with rigor and professionalism. One expert recommends improving the
communication with viewers through a presenter in which to trust, with an attractive
staging that “does not destroy the news story”, giving priority to striking designs but
that help to understand well what it is communicated. The presenter is described as
“a prescriber in whose criteria the viewers trust”. In a context of maximum speed
and misinformation, this ‘agreement of trust’ with the journalist who presents the
newscast is still valid.
The role of the analyst who can contextualize the most relevant news of the day
should be implemented, at least in the nightly news. It often takes time to digest all
that information that is aired, so it seems convenient to include more analysis and
150 J. A. García-Avilés
News distribution. The 40- or 50-min long newscast makes sense for viewers who
want a clear and precise summary of what has happened up to that moment. How-
ever, newscasts must be more interactive, offering a menu that will allow viewers
to interact, vote, click on the graphic information, chronicles, etc. to provide with
expanded information when the viewer demands it. This requires a broad team that
works in a coordinated way with the rest of the news brand’s windows (web, social
networks, etc.) and develops transmedia contents.
Instagram, Twitter or Facebook have become fundamental tools in order to spread the
content of newscasts. Newscasts should have open channels in the website, YouTube
and social media, where reporters can explain the news provided in the broadcast.
One model could be BBC’s Open Source, where viewers interact with the news and
generate community. As one journalist puts it, “sometimes we make a live show for
television and minutes later we make a Facebook Live. You can create labels for
each piece speciﬁc to the channel and the news to share data, opinions, pictures and
Producers should explore the possibilities of virtual reality and augmented reality
for analytical and didactic narratives but avoiding pure spectacle. “I ﬁnd innovation
not so much in the spectacularization of the augmented reality or the graphics that
overﬂow the screens, but in the clarity of the message, in its narrative values and in
the conﬁdence that arouses in the viewer”, argues one producer.
5 International Cases of Innovative News Formats
In recent years, several audiovisual formats have emerged that seek to innovate in the
approach of making and distributing news content. We have selected six international
media formats which are innovating in different ways and are reaching some success
in terms of audience, brand prestige or other aspects.
5.1 Stay Tuned (NBC News, United States)
It was launched on Snapchat by the commercial network NBC News in July 2017,
as a format for mobile consumption. Subsequently, it is also broadcast on Instagram
and YouTube. Stay Tuned uses pieces composed of close shots and few camera
movements and titles, so that they can be understood without listening to the audio.
The newscast lasts two minutes and is updated twice a day on weekdays and once
a day on weekends. Presented by three journalists under 30 years old, the show
combines what “the audience wants and needs to know”, according to its executive
producer (Digiday 2019). Stay Tuned offers breaking news and topics ranging from a
youtuber’s controversial statements to the humanitarian crises in Yemen, along with
interviews with politicians, celebrities and activists.
Reinventing Television News: Innovative Formats in a Social … 151
The goal is to bring this new audience from Snapchat to its other platforms (Digi-
day 2019). NBC News has connected Stay Tuned to the rest of the network by having
the hosts—Gadi Schwartz, Savannah Sellers and Lawrence Jackson—be involved
in other programming, while also have NBC News’ TV anchors participate in the
Snapchat show. According to NBC, the newscast has an average of 35 million unique
viewers per month and 75% are under 25 years old (Digiday 2019).
5.2 Hochkant (ARD, Germany)
The program, which began on October 1, 2016, is coordinated and ﬁnanced by
the Berlin regional broadcaster of public channel ARD. The production is run by a
small editorial team in Berlin and three journalists abroad, who work together to
develop pieces and topics. Hochkant uses a WhatsApp group to coordinate plans
and discuss their most relevant issues and their coverage. Journalists do not have a
ﬁxed schedule, since they all cover different topics such as politics, entertainment
and lifestyle. Between 6 and 9 in the morning they prepare a summary of the ﬁve
most important news stories of the last 24 h; the rest of the day they cover breaking
The format is part of Funk, the social media network aimed at 14–29 year old
launched by German public service broadcasters ARD and ZDF in 2016. Hochkant
is anchored by three young presenters who call themselves ‘snappers’ and they
generally switch between informational stills and short explanatory or commenting
clips, depending on the urgency of the topic. The format is ﬁt to provide a bit of context
to people with short attention spans (Brachmann 2017). The presenters encourage
their followers to interact, especially when they report on complicated or emotionally
charged topics. They usually include pieces of User Generated Content (videos,
pictures, comments…) and short quizzes in the shows.
5.3 ZIB100 (ORF, Austria)
Austrian public broadcaster ORF launched a video news summary via WhatsApp
and Facebook to subscribed users. ZIB100 offers two minutes of news pills at 17.25,
when most citizens leave work. The programme, presented by the same anchors of the
regular evening news, is produced in vertical video format and is subtitled. ZIB100
can thus be watched on TV using a split screen and on a smartphone at ORF.at,
WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. The format summarizes the main news about
politics, economy, society and international affairs, in a professional and conventional
The news stories are based on short clips, which convey a message in a con-
cise form through pictures, sound and subtitling. A video, for example, ideally is
posted along with a textual description, enabling users to grasp the message without
152 J. A. García-Avilés
watching the video. Since its launch in April 2016, ZIB100 has reached 110,000
subscribers and its WhatsApp distribution list has an opening rate between 60–70%
(Reiter et al. 2017).
5.4 Outside Source (BBC, United Kingdom)
The format began as a radio show on BBC World Service in October 2013, created
by journalist Ros Atkins, who since July 2017 presents the television edition. This
format is broadcast simultaneously on BBC World News and BBC News. The idea
was to bring the immediacy of the BBC newsroom, offering breaking news as they
unfold, with the experience of the BBC’s global network of journalists. The presenter
uses a touch screen to display graphics, images and content from social media, which
help explain the context and background of the news in a visually appealing way.
According to Atkins “the advantage of the Outside Source screen is you can show
developments better, so we can show things that come in text form in a more visual
manner for the viewer, as opposed to traditional formats where you read the copy
out, but you can’t show it” (quoted in Reid 2015). They try to bring across all the
very best bits of original journalism of the BBC newsgathering and they also seek
out videos, pictures and social media comments from the audience. The programme
has a team of journalists who verify and select user generated content.
5.5 NowThisNews (United States)
Founded both by former Hufﬁngton Post president Kenneth Lerer and former Hufﬁn-
gton Post CEO Eric Hippeau, NowThisNews produces video content for social media
since September 2012, with an editorial staff of 30 journalists that generate about 40
daily pieces, from breaking news to more elaborate analysis. NowThisNews delivers
bite-sized videos, often aggregated from other sources, to a mostly millennial audi-
ence across various social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. Some are
compilations of clips, while others are narrated by young presenters in a colloquial
The pieces last between 15 and 120 s. While admitting that 15 s allowed a limited
news release, managers expected viewers to have a knowledge base, so that their
videos could add layers of meaning and context to a story and provide a fresh narrative
style, departing from traditional television news (O’Donovan 2013). Viewers can
consume a whole piece of content without ever having to go full screen or hear what
is being said.
Reinventing Television News: Innovative Formats in a Social … 153
5.6 VICE News Tonight (VICE, United States)
Since October 2016, the show is broadcast Tuesday to Friday evenings on HBO in the
United States and on YouTube, and it is produced by digital-only medium VICE, with
a style very different from a standard newscast because it has no presenter in a studio.
Instead, the pieces are introduced by a voiceover narration. Each programme begins
with a quick-hit rundown of global events and a then a handful of feature snapshots
of the world, strung together with slick graphics and music. A typical show uses
a mix of voiceovers, graphics and video packages to dive into national and global
news, technology, the environment, economics and pop culture. Its purpose is placing
stories in context and understanding them.
Although intended for a US audience, VICE News Tonight includes many inter-
national news stories. The producers of the show claim that it reaches a younger
audience than any cable news program in the country. According to his executive
producer, his video inspirations are Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live, two multi-
format playgrounds that get across their message in different ways, from monologues
and sketches to song parodies and video clips (Zoglin 2017).
6 Conclusion: The Need to Experiment and Innovate
Most experts consulted in our study agree that television newscasts tend to the spec-
tacularization of news content, with the use of high impact images and of extradiegetic
music. This type of audiovisual language seeks that viewers empathize with the char-
acters and the feelings in a story, reinforced by a fast, dynamic video shooting and
As some experts argue, innovation in newscasts essentially lies in the audiovisual
narrative, integrating image and sound, telling the story with ﬂuency, and holding
viewers’ trust with rigorous journalism. With the aid of graphics, augmented reality
and social media, newscast content can be expanded. The relationship established
by the presenters both with the elements of news staging and in their face to face
relationship with the viewers can also be innovative.
However, innovation in television news should not only be technology driven.
As many experts emphasize, the most innovative aspects are related to how news
content is improved, the clarity of the message, its narrative values, its storytelling
techniques, its power to engage viewers and the conﬁdence that the journalists arouse
in the public.
Our research shows that several selected formats are valuable examples of innova-
tion in audiovisual storytelling: Stay Tuned (NBC News), Hochkant (ARD), ZIB100
(ORF), Outside Source (BBC News), NowThisNews and VICE News Tonight. These
formats do not provide all the solutions, but they offer opportunities for producers
to risk, experiment and escape from their comfort zone, especially trying to reach
viewers under 30 years old. However, if a format is made exclusively with the young
154 J. A. García-Avilés
audience in mind, there is a chance that the over-50 s, its current target audience,
will abandon it. In the horizontal communication ecosystem of the Network Society,
based on personalized content and interactive distribution, it seems impossible for a
single format to reach a mass audience.
Even the most successful format will not be able to replicate the successes of the
newscasts in the past. Given the variety of platforms available to obtain information, it
is inevitable that many users feel that their needs are better served elsewhere. Perhaps,
ultimately, the act of sitting down to watch television news becomes increasingly rare.
Our ﬁndings suggest that young audiences must be taken seriously by news broad-
casters for their long-term future. Young people demand content that is meaningful
to them. Also, there is a need to reduce political and commercial inﬂuences to ensure
independence in news coverage.
It seems naive to make predictions about the evolution of newscasts, given the
amount of unexpected changes that lie ahead. Although it is likely that traditional
newscasts will remain a relevant and valuable format for several years, there is
much room for a contextualized, entertaining and visual daily product that helps
make sense of an overwhelming volume of data and information. Television and
the Internet, together with social media, seem optimal platforms for this format.
The challenge is how to make it relevant, useful and satisfying the needs of users,
without compromising the values of trust, transparency and credibility in a world of
increasingly personalized and polarized media.
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Jose A. García-Avilés Full Professor of Journalism at Miguel Hernández University (Spain),
where he lectures at the Master Programme in Journalism Innovation. He is Bachelor of Arts
(National University of Ireland) and Ph.D. in Communication (University of Navarra). He was vis-
iting scholar at Columbia University and has carried out comparative research on journalism inno-
vation and media transformation. He is director of the Communication Research Group GICOV
and founder of InnovaMedia.Net, a network of researchers on journalism innovation.