Reaching a “non-news audience”

By Alex Hager

On Saturday afternoon, I attended a talk on how to “engage with a non-news audience” with Charlie Weaver, the faculty publisher of The Daily Emerald at the University of Oregon. This was most likely the most informative session I attended.

As many of us in student media know, there is an unsettlingly limited appetite for news today, especially among college students. Weaver shared statistics about The Emerald’s readership that supported this concern.

Seizing on current trends, The Emerald sought to publish more lifestyle and entertainment content reflective of websites like Buzzfeed. Weaver explained how they determined the best way to do so was to spin off an entirely new website, separating the branding from their hard news division.

I think any media outlet, especially a student media outlet, will have to seriously consider a foray into the entertainment/listicle realm if they want to maintain relevancy and readership, but it’s also important to keep that side of their operation distinctly separate from their news reporting branch.

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