I was recently involved in a project called, at various stages, Election Wire (sorry, #ElectionWIRE) , Youthscape, #ElectionWIRE on Youthscape, Election Tracker, Electionvibetrackerscape@hipcoolplacefortrendyteens, and “this stupid project”.
It was, as is so often the case with non-profit work, a bit of a farce. Every one involved was talented and enthusiastic, but no one in charge was thoughtful enough (they of course all had other demands on their time, as did the reporters), or in charge enough, for the project to really have been what it should (could) have. Dont get me wrong, we clocked up over 200,000 views, and more importantly some of the videos were really good. There was however, to say the least, big room for improvement.
One thing that really struck me as misguided though was a constant tendency to brand the channel “Youth Media”. The idea was to go for viewers between 16-30. In the end however, a majority of viewers was over 35, with the 55-64 age bracket doing almost as well as the 18-24’s. Not much point typing any more, here are the stats laid bare:
Have other people working in “Youth Media” found they have this problem?
I think consiously branding it “for young people” immediately gives it, to younger noses at least, the stink of “this is what the baby boomer’s think you should be watching”. My instincts tell me that young people don’t call each other young people, and their interests are more diverse, not less, than the rest of the general population.
It’s a bit like if I tried to hit on a girl by telling her how much I want to fuck her. The trick – the hard but important bit – is convincing her she wants to fuck me too.
Older people get suckered into watching it expecting to give them insight into what young people are interested in, which it is patently not. Every one looses.