Welcome to the crazy days of summer


“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,
Those days of soda and pretzels and beer.
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,
You’ll wish that summer could always be here.”

Charles Tobias, Hans Bradtke and Hans Carste

You know it’s the crazy days of summer in Nashville when the swimming pool feels like bathwater and the rabbits have taken over your garden. I just returned from Home Depot with chicken wire and wooden stakes to build my fortress and stop the endless buffet.

Summer also means E&P’s July/August combined print issue. With summer conferences, vacations and holidays, this makes the most sense for our print product. However, I assure you that we’ll also add August digital-only articles to our morning emails to complement the articles in the print issue.

Our cover story, “Local TV news takes Gen Z beyond broadcast,” delivers compelling information on how the younger generation — and an increasing number of the not-so-young — prefers to receive their news and the content they want. The Reinventing Local TV News Project featured in this article may be focused on TV news. However, the information in the study applies to any news organization that wants to appeal to the Gen Z audience — whether it’s the type of content, delivery of content or attracting Gen Z talent into your newsroom.

The information about what the younger audiences want is pretty simple, with authenticity being essential. Mike Beaudet, an investigative reporter at WCVB in Boston and a professor of the practice of video innovation at Northeastern University, told Gretchen Peck, “If the content is good [no matter the length], and they feel like it’s honest, thoughtful and authentic, they will watch it and respond to it.” I would surmise that the same could be said for what they want to read — honest, thoughtful and authentic.

Social media channels and online websites have become the places Gen Z audiences go to for their news. That's not “news” to most of us, and it's not only the youth flocking online to get their news. Several studies that we feature in this issue, along with The Reinventing Local TV News Project, show us that more and more of our audience is looking for their news online. We can stick our heads in the sand and keep doing what we’ve always done, or we can give our audience what they want and when and where they want it. Many of you are already doing that. If not, don't wait until this trend has you in its rearview. We can all learn from each other.

Enjoy your dog days of summer. Like everything else, they go by fast, and soon, we’ll be looking at back-to-school and fall activities. Until then, “roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days.”

Robin Blinder is E&P's editor-in-chief. She has been with E&P for five years. She can be reached at robin@editorandpublisher.com


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