For traditional News broadcasters, it has been difficult to alter televised video content to social media platforms. Not only do you have to consider what a new generation of audiences wants, but you also have to understand the different viewer preferences between YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Despite challenges, this transition of tapping into social is necessary to reach the next generation of News audiences. Not only do young audiences turn to social video to connect with their community and seek entertainment, Reuters recently reported that 20% of 18-24-year-olds use TikTok as a news source.
So how do you juggle an ever-evolving content strategy that keeps up with endless trends, varying audience preferences, and algorithm changes? At Tubular, we’ve found that creators can lead the way. In other industries like beauty, fashion, gaming, and entertainment, companies have leveraged creator partnerships to inform their overall strategy. That’s because social video creators have a skill that is extremely valuable to companies— they are ultra-tapped into their audiences.
Traditional news publishers can either learn from these news creators or consider tapping their own social news reporters to connect with audiences. A social media reporter’s purpose is to bring classic news reporting to the broad and instantly accessible world of social. Audiences expect reporting of events as they occur with consistent updates, and access to other social tools to gather additional information.
By creating a social video news strategy, you’ll be able to:
- Get the news out quicker with smaller, entertaining updates
- Meet audiences where they already are
- Garner a sense of community and build loyal followers of real people
In our list of 8 News Creators You Should Be Following on Social, we take a look at actionable insights and qualities to consider to apply to your own content strategy.
Digital-First News Creators
1. Cleo Abram
Abram is a social media reporter who used to work for Vox. Now, she reports on the Science & Technology News category on social. What’s interesting about Abram is her multi-platform content strategy. She posts long-form videos to YouTube that average 13 minutes. Her YouTube videos feature evergreen topics like a deep dive into cancer research or metformin, the ‘fountain of youth’ pill.
Her TikTok strategy is much more tailored for the short-form video app. Her videos are focused on current, topical events like the recent yellow smog over New York City and the new technology Taylor Swift is using for her current concert tour.
Dylan is the self-proclaimed “TikTok News Daddy” from the UK. He reports on everything News — from crime cases to technology updates, healthcare advancements, and more. So far in 2023, he’s averaged 233M TikTok views per month.
So what is this social media reporter’s secret sauce? First — he’s scrappy. Dylan consistently reports on tempo with traditional publishers, but in his videos, he quickly sums up the highlights and rotates interesting photos and videos associated with the story. When it comes to formatting, the reporter utilizes a split screen style rather than a green screen. This way, viewers can easily see his microphone and logo behind him… almost like a Gen Z take on a traditional News set.
3. Jenna Lynn
Lynn launched a TikTok Breaking News channel where she reports on recent news – giving quick facts. The method to her magic? In a world with short attention spans, Lynn gets right to the point before audiences scroll on.
At the beginning of her videos, she has the headline “BREAKING NEWS” which helps scrollers understand what they’re watching at first glance. She then utilizes a green screen effect in front of relevant photos as well as her typed-out script. While it doesn’t always look polished, Lynn is giving readers the ability to read or watch and get all the highlights without having to watch the entire video.
4. Jerry News
Jerry News is an Instagram-first news publisher bringing big headlines and a few short facts to scrollers around the world. If you aren’t familiar with Jerry News, perhaps you’re familiar with the popular meme account it spun off of – @fuckjerry.
While Jerry News is still growing its video content, we included this unique example because it shows how audiences can funnel between funny entertainment channels and hard-hitting news channels. In fact, the top engaged hashtag within the News category is #goodnews. You can find out more about this trend and others in our latest report, From Site to Social: Aligning a Cohesive Content Strategy.
Actionable insights from digital-first social media reporters:
- Adapt stories format and length for different social platforms
- Use logos and headlines to grab audiences’ attention before they even start watching
- Lean into funny stories or #GoodNews content to funnel viewers to your traditional channels
“Boots on the ground” live social reporters
While many crime reporters have popped up on social media during high-profile cases like the death of Gabby Petito or the trial of Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard—none are so prominent as Brian Entin.
Brian Entin first garnered national attention for his coverage of the 2021 Gabby Petito murder investigation where he spent six weeks camped out on the lawn next to then-suspected murderer’s house, delivering exclusive reporting and interviews with witnesses, police, federal authorities, and online sleuths.
More recently, Entin became the go-to reporter on Twitter in the murder of four University of Idaho college students. He remained in Idaho for months, taking the world of social media along on his detective work, visiting crime scenes and interviewing witnesses. He was the first national reporter on the ground in Pennsylvania when suspect Bryan Kohberger was arrested. How did he beat the crowd of reporters? According to Vanity Fair, a source from the Pennsylvania police department DM’d Entin on Twitter to let him know that Bryan Kohberger was in custody in connection with the case. At 8:26 a.m., Entin tweeted: “An arrest has been made in the Moscow, Idaho quadruple homicide I have learned.” He shot off several more informative Tweets revealing the identity of the suspect. By the time he landed in Monroe County, Pennsylvania his tip had made national news. This goes to show how fiercely loyal and connected Entin’s audiences are – so much so that a Twitter follower’s DM was first to break the news.
Brian Entin left traditional news broadcasting to get into the nitty gritty of scrappy journalism. He’s seen the astronomical success of social because social audiences love crime themes – and love feeling ‘in the know’. Traditional news publishers should look to fast-paced social-first journalists to cover these crime stories that take over the internet.
Actionable insights from boots-on-the-ground social reporters:
- Fast-paced journalists thrive online because they can keep up with the speed of social
- Violent crimes can spur cult followings on social and should be led by scrappy reporters
- Engaging social audiences into the conversation can get you ahead of traditional publishers because these audiences want to feel involved
Traditional TV News Anchors Turned TikTok Stars
Jeannette Reyes is a great example of a traditional televised news anchor on Fox 5 Morning and Good Day DC news who has captured the attention of TikTok audiences.
Reyes gives audiences a sneak peek of the backstage lives of news anchors with relatable “day in the life” videos. In one video, she laughs about the time she forgot to wear heels to work. In another, she explains why news anchors use serious-sounding voices or why they repeat the time over and over throughout their segments.
Reyes’ social media presence gives her the opportunity to connect with audiences beyond the television screen. By showing more of her off-screen personality, she gives her network a human persona which can help build audience loyalty.
7. Max Foster
CNN London news anchor, Max Foster, posts short TikTok videos covering current News events in his classic ‘news voice’. He conducts himself very similarly to the way he does on traditional channels, only he is looking into his phone screen and speaking candidly to the camera. Foster shows us that your current News personalities don’t need to learn TikTok dances, be funny, or use complicated video effects. To win on social, news anchors can simply translate their skill set to speaking into their own selfie camera for a short 30-second video.
Derbyshire is another example of a traditional anchor from BBC Newsnight who speaks candidly about articles and news stories. She adds color to stories by sharing her reactions of surprise, awe, horror, and everything in between.
The anchor leans into TikTok’s own in-app technologies like green screen and voice-over. Adding titles, captions, and images to videos helps her grab users’ attention before they scroll on.
Actionable Insights from TV anchors turned TikTok stars:
- Traditional reporters can easily adapt their talent to social media
- Focus on short clips highlighting quick facts
- Add headlines so users can easily understand what they’re listening to
The landscape of News broadcasting has experienced significant changes with the rise of social media. To connect to the next generation of News audiences, broadcasters must understand and adapt to social video preferences across different platforms.
Luckily, social media reporters are leading the evolution of News on social and traditional broadcasters can learn a lot from them. By learning from social creators, you can get stories out faster, meet audiences where they already are, and foster a community with a broader demographic.
In this digital age, it’s crucial for traditional News broadcasters to adapt to the demands of the ever-evolving mediascape. If you’re eager to learn more about how social can supercharge your overall distribution strategy, read our latest report: From Site to Social: Aligning a Cohesive Content Strategy.
If you’re interested in staying on the pulse of culture through social video’s single source of truth, it’s time to request a free demo of Tubular. Click below to unlock social in a whole new way.