Most people know that traditional news sources, like newspapers and broadcast television, have fallen on difficult times. Even online platforms compete fiercely for readers’ attention. And the younger the news consumer, the harder the fight for eyeballs.
Peter Hamby, news director at Snapchat says that the chat platform is an important source of news for young people, who may not seek out current affairs information anywhere else. His show, “Good Luck America” streams on Snapchat, where he strives to dissect President Donald Trump’s turbulent administration in an interesting and digestible way for users of the platform.
The majority – 75 percent – of Hamby’s audience are under 25 years-old. This group, according to Hamby, often doesn’t get news from traditional platforms.
“People are spending over 40 minutes a day on the platform, right? But they are not watching television, they don’t even know what channel CNN, NBC and ABC are,” Hamby says.
Texas Standard Producer Jill Ament recently spoke with students about their understanding of politics in Texas. She discussed an experiment the Standard conducted to see if Texans could identify the state’s top three lawmakers.”
“About half knew who the governor was, no one knew who the lieutenant governor or house speaker were, and then the other half didn’t know any of the top three,” Ament says.
Gerrymandering, SB 4 and other political topics will pop up on people’s Snapchat stories, Hamby says, which may be the only exposure users of the service have to information on such complicated but important issues.
“I personally see it as almost like a civics lesson combined with news,” Hamby says.
“We try with our show to be extremely visual with graphics and fast pacing, characters and personalities and places that really demonstrate this stuff,” he says.
Written by Nahila Bonfiglio.