Young people are losing interest in newspapers and mainly use social media to keep up with the news. Because of the algorithms of social media, young people are steadily getting into their own media bubble. In addition, a lot of fake news is spread via online platforms and it is difficult for young people to distinguish fake news from real (serious) news. Young people do find news important and want to know what is going on in the world and in their own environment.
Motivation for the project
Young people of secondary school age get little of the 'serious' news. De Leeuwarder Courant wants to meet the (regional) news needs of Frisian youngsters. With a new news channel, De Leeuwarder Courant wants to offer news, current affairs and stories from the region with a touch of fun. With this, the Leeuwarder Courant wants to reach and connect with the future of Friesland and contribute to a well-informed, critical and media-minded youth.
Preliminary research by the Leeuwarder Courant has shown that the current supply of news does not adequately meet the needs of young people. Either the channel is not suitable, young people make a lot of use of Instagram, for example, or the content is not interesting enough; young people are interested in news about issues that affect them. Students from the Ba Communication and Ad Online Content Creator programmes were asked to develop an Instagram account that fits the needs of the youth in Friesland. The Leeuwarder Courant wonders in what form an Instagram account would lead to the most engagement among young people in Friesland. The assignment is to design an account with an optimal form for the content, such as which message, subjects, call-to-actions, etc.
The project team consists of the Leeuwarder Courant, the marketing team and the online editorial team, Mirjam Lasthuizen of the professorship for project coordination and research supervision, and alternating groups of students, who are supervised by lecturers of the courses Ba Communication and Ad Online Content Creator.
The project had a duration of 2 years and in each study semester a student group of the Ba Communication programme (years 3 and 4) carried out research, also supervised by the OSM chair. The results were processed into content advice, house style and tested content forms. In addition, students from the Ba Communication programme (year 3) and Ad Online Content Creator (year 2) developed, created and tested news content on LC NOW's Instagram account. This content development was supervised by teachers and the students worked together with the online editorial staff of De Leeuwarder Courant.
The Instagram account LC NOW (lc.now) has developed into a successful news channel that evokes engagement with the youth of Friesland. In the spring of 2021, De Leeuwarder Courant has appointed a coordinator to manage this account.
Students from the Ba Communicatie and Ad Online Content Creator programmes have learned how to work together with the online editorial staff of de Leeuwarder Courant and to develop news content for Instagram that meets the needs of the youth of Friesland. In addition, several student groups from the Ba Communication programme learned new research methods, such as analysing online data and testing content on Instagram.
- NHL Stenden Marketing & Communication
- Professorship Organisations & Social Media
- Leeuwarder Courant