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TikTok and The News Business.


Kenneth Kissel
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I thought I would post this here because the Pittsburgh Post Gazette media reporter Josh Axelrod did a great piece on how KDKA-TV uses Tiktok to get younger viewers to watch their newscast.   https://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-radio/2022/08/24/kdka-tiktok-instagram-reels-bob-pompeani-celina-pompeani-mary-ours-heather-abraham/stories/202208240011

 

I know this is a heated topic so please be civil.

Edited by Kenneth Kissel
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As someone in the younger demographic who occasionally watches TikTok and has friends who frequently watch TikTok, perhaps I can offer some perspective, for whatever it’s worth.

 

First, with all due respect, that was not a “great piece” at all; on the contrary, it was a puffy advertorial for KDKA, their news director, and some of their talent. A great piece on the news business’ use of social media would’ve also sought the opinions of journalists (young and old) who don’t agree with the notion of “I’ll dance until I die” when the entire industry is facing a credibility crisis. They also would’ve sought after the opinions of the viewers they’re supposedly catering to. Not to mention, Bob Pompeani going on TikTok might be the most “how do you do fellow kids” thing I’ve heard in a long time.

 

Second, when I go on TikTok, I usually watch for funny short videos, food-related stuff, sports highlights, a new workout routine, and the occasional fun fact about NYC, where I live. My friends, who use it more frequently and are not news junkies, watch a lot of the same stuff and watch some dance videos as well. We all recognize it as mindless entertainment for when you need a break. The point is, NONE of us watch TikTok to get informed. I don’t know a single person who actually watches it to see Mary Ours or [Insert News Personality Here] do a dance routine. Even if we take journalism out of the picture, a news anchor dancing in the studio isn’t stuff that appeals to us. This is a 50+ year-old GM/news director’s IDEA of what appeals to us.

 

That’s not to say that I think TV news shouldn’t have a social media presence; on the contrary, stations can easily use TikTok for short-form reporting and quick summaries of important stories. But that’s not what KDKA and other stations are using it for. They’re taking the potential they have with a popular platform like TikTok and using it exclusively for bull$h!t.
 

Stations aren’t going to win our trust and attention by doing what other content creators do and throwing journalism out the window. They will only do so by meeting us where we are and adapting journalism to the platform while not sacrificing it whole. Having news anchors do what Addison Rae already does will not yield either viewership or credibility.

 

That’s my humble $0.02 (adjusted for inflation; it isn’t really worth that much tbh).

Edited by nycnewsjunkie
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, nycnewsjunkie said:

First, with all due respect, that was not a “great piece” at all; on the contrary, it was a puffy advertorial for KDKA, their news director, and some of their talent. A great piece on the news business use of social media would’ve also sought the opinions of journalists (young and old) who don’t agree with the notion of “I’ll dance until I die” when the entire industry is facing a credibility crisis. They also would’ve sought after the opinions of the viewers they’re supposedly catering to. Not to mention, Bob Pompeani going on TikTok might be the most “how do you do fellow kids” thing I’ve heard in a long time.

 

Second, when I go on TikTok, I usually watch for funny short videos, food-related stuff, sports highlights, a new workout routine, and the occasional fun fact about NYC, where I live. My friends, who use it more frequently and are not news junkies, watch a lot of the same stuff and watch some dance videos as well. We all recognize it as mindless entertainment for when you need a break. The point is, NONE of us watch TikTok to get informed. I don’t know a single person who actually watches it to see Mary Ours or [Insert News Personality Here] do a dance routine. Even if we take journalism out of the picture, a news anchor dancing in the studio isn’t stuff that appeals to us. This is a 50+ year-old GM/news director’s IDEA of what appeals to us.

 

That’s not to say that I think TV news shouldn’t have a social media presence; on the contrary, stations can easily use TikTok for short-form reporting and quick summaries of important stories. But that’s not what KDKA and other stations are using it for. They’re taking the potential they have with a popular platform like TikTok and using it exclusively for bull$h!t.
 

Stations aren’t going to win our trust and attention by doing what other content creators do and throwing journalism out the window. They will only do so by meeting us where we are and adapting journalism to the platform while not sacrificing it whole. Having news anchors do what Addison Rae already does will not yield either viewership or credibility.

 

That’s my humble $0.02 (adjusted for inflation; it isn’t really worth that much tbh).

Point #1. I think the point Josh was trying to get across was TV News has to reach a new base and TikTok is one of those options, I don't think it was a puffy advertorial for KDKA, their news director, and some of their talent. The reason why there wasn't more of  the news business  use of social media is because it would have turned into a culture war like many people who like to bring up the word "boomers". I would have liked to see more viewer input in the story but this story was researched in 2 weeks time so with the lack of profit that the Post-Gazette and other newspapers get, you can't really delay longer then that. I mentioned that in a twitter post response to this story.

 

Point #2: I believe most people would agree with you that they use TikTok for funny short videos, food-related stuff, sports highlights, a new workout routine, dance videos, and the occasional fun fact about where they live and all recognize it as mindless entertainment for when you need a break. I do agree that  NO ONE watches TikTok to actually get informed.  However ,as you can see from this picture, 21 percent actually do use TikTok for News and 6 percent regularly get their news on TikTok( https://www.pewresearch.org/journalism/2021/09/20/news-consumption-across-social-media-in-2021/pj_2021-09-20_news-social-media_0-02/ ).

 

Point #3 : TV news should have a social media presence. I agree that stations need to use TikTok for short-form reporting and quick summaries of important stories. I also agree that most stations (Including KDKA) are currently using TikTok for Fun BS and fluff no one cares about.

 

Point #4: I also agree but on one condition,  some content creators on Youtube (which is better in my opinion then TikTok) actually do very good investigative reporting . TikTok needs to allow stations to do the same thing in a much smaller capacity but that won't happen with TikTok' s current short video format. The Upside that TV stations and actual journalists have is more reliable creditably and fact checking with more reliable sources which many content creators don't have. Many content creators just latch on to news stations who reported stories first and then add their own spin.

 

TV News confidence is at an all time low. Maybe this new base can raise confidence back up again.

 

TikTok isn't for me anyway but I wanted to hear what you and others thought of this.

 

PJ_2021.09.20_news-social-media_0-02.webp

Screenshot 2022-08-24 120921.jpg

Edited by Kenneth Kissel
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17 hours ago, Kenneth Kissel said:

Point #1. I think the point Josh was trying to get across was TV News has to reach a new base and TikTok is one of those options, I don't think it was a puffy advertorial for KDKA, their news director, and some of their talent. The reason why there wasn't more of  the news business  use of social media is because it would have turned into a culture war like many people who like to bring up the word "boomers". I would have liked to see more viewer input in the story but this story was researched in 2 weeks time so with the lack of profit that the Post-Gazette and other newspapers get, you can't really delay longer then that. I mentioned that in a twitter post response to this story.

 

Point #2: I believe most people would agree with you that they use TikTok for funny short videos, food-related stuff, sports highlights, a new workout routine, dance videos, and the occasional fun fact about where they live and all recognize it as mindless entertainment for when you need a break. I do agree that  NO ONE watches TikTok to actually get informed.  However ,as you can see from this picture, 21 percent actually do use TikTok for News and 6 percent regularly get their news on TikTok( https://www.pewresearch.org/journalism/2021/09/20/news-consumption-across-social-media-in-2021/pj_2021-09-20_news-social-media_0-02/ ).

 

Point #3 : TV news should have a social media presence. I agree that stations need to use TikTok for short-form reporting and quick summaries of important stories. I also agree that most stations (Including KDKA) are currently using TikTok for Fun BS and fluff no one cares about.

 

Point #4: I also agree but on one condition,  some content creators on Youtube (which is better in my opinion then TikTok) actually do very good investigative reporting . TikTok needs to allow stations to do the same thing in a much smaller capacity but that won't happen with TikTok' s current short video format. The Upside that TV stations and actual journalists have is more reliable creditably and fact checking with more reliable sources which many content creators don't have. Many content creators just latch on to news stations who reported stories first and then add their own spin.

 

TV News confidence is at an all time low. Maybe this new base can raise confidence back up again.

 

TikTok isn't for me anyway but I wanted to hear what you and others thought of this.

 

PJ_2021.09.20_news-social-media_0-02.webp

Screenshot 2022-08-24 120921.jpg

None of this addresses the point I was making. I didn’t say stations shouldn’t use social media; in fact, I explicitly said stations can (and should) use TikTok as an information platform. Stations have news gathering resources and credibility that the average content creator will never have, while TikTok has the platform to deliver that info to younger audiences. The problem isn’t that journalists are on TikTok; it’s how they use TikTok. That was my whole point.

 

FTVLive has a post on this story today. I don’t agree with Scott Jones all the time, but he nails it here. How are cringe TikTok posts bringing in viewership? They aren’t even bringing in that many views on TikTok. Mary Ours’ 22k followers might sound impressive, but it doesn’t really count for much on TikTok when your competition is a deli owner with 3.3 million followers and much better content. The ironic thing is, these posts from news anchors aren’t even reaching the right demographic! Look at the comments on those three links I embedded. They’re mostly from older people who already watch news on TV.

 

I still maintain that the Post-Gazette article was piss poor. You mean to say that in two weeks time, someone who reports on the media couldn’t reach out to other journalists for opinions on the subject? This isn’t an exploration into the debate over how local media should utilize social media; it’s an ad.

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I think the real problem facing KDKA the talent exodus it’s suffered over the last few years. The few times I had KD on, it’s looked like an intern’s demo tape. 

Edited by newscopter7
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As many quotes in the article make clear, they aren’t dancing on TikTok to bring in ratings, they’re doing it so they can have a life and so people can see they have a personality outside of being a stone-faced reporter. Any ratings increases are side effects more than anything.
 

Quote

It’s so important to show everyone that you can be more than just what your career is

I want people to see the real me, that I’m a mom, not just this face on TV that’s glammed up 24/7. ... They want to see the real you, because then they’ll trust you even more because they know what kind of person you are

I think it’s just very important for these people to be seen as being human and having a lot of fun

At a point, you kind of stop caring and realize you’re making those videos because you like it. This is part of my personality, and if I show it off, who cares?

You’ve built yourself up in a professional manner. You deserve to have fun too

One’s personal hobbies shouldn’t center around increasing your company’s revenue, they should be something that you’re passionate about and makes you happy. If that’s dancing on the internet, great. Sure, there are some types of posts that are unethical, like taking selfies at an active crime scene or shilling a product. But just because something doesn’t explicitly advance your company’s bottom line, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it.

 

Do traditional community outreach events, like toy drives or hosting picnics or volunteering, really bring in huge ratings? If ratings are the only barometer we’re supposed to look at, then all of those would be failures and they should stop them, right? But they don’t because those events have a different purpose, just like there’s a different purpose for them dancing on TikTok.

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  • 1 month later...

Compared to other social media platforms I've found tik tok to be pretty cringe and mindless, with a few gems of substancial content here and there.

 

There's no problem with news outlets putting their content on social media to engage younger viewers. The issue --having seen this from some news platforms-- is dumbing down the content to be "hip". Audiences can discern this. 

 

The news anchors doing tik tok dances for example, comes off as contrived efforts to get young eyes more so than building personal connections with their audience. An oldschool pov perhaps, but I'd rather admire anchors for their work more so than getting into their personal lives, or seeing them do cringy social media trends. Not saying anchors can't be multi faceted. I can enjoy fun and news like the KTLA morning show or the Australian Today Show. Silly tik tok trends (in my view at least) is a little much.  

 

So longs as the news product can keep its integrity while being on various platforms that attract younger audiences, there's no huge issue. 

Edited by iron_lion
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