ABC News Needs You

16 10 2011

In previous weeks I have already looked at how ABC News interact with their audience by the use of comments sections on stories, inviting photos from users and social interaction via Facebook and Twitter.  So how else do they engage with their audience?

Social Tools
Firstly, the methods I have already mentioned above consume the majority of avenues where ABC News seek audience interaction.  However I did find a slightly more unusual way they engage with the audience which isn’t connected to gathering information or opinion about a story.
How to Help: Organizations Working to Improve Life at Pine Ridge” follows on from a year spent by Diane Sawyer reporting from the Pine Ridge Reservation, one of America’s poorest counties.  The link to the page is located about halfway down the home page and so receives quite prominent attention by ABC.  The page consists of links to other sites where you can donate money to children from the reservation, help the Wounded Knee School District and also find more information (and make more donations) to other aspects of the American Indian community.  There are also addresses of schools where people can write to the children themselves.
This doesn’t appeal to me personally as a way to interact with the audience but I’m sure there are plenty of people who are interested and grateful for the chance to contribute through ABC.  In saying that it is refreshing to see a news site taking a different approach to audience interaction away from the standard comments and social media approach.
The majority of other opportunities for audience involvement on ABC News didn’t actually come from the news site itself but from areas of the site that focussed on some of ABC’s other related programmes like “What Would You Do?” or “Good Morning America”.  Overall the saturation of comments, photos and social media forms the main way ABC embraces user-generated content.



3 responses

17 10 2011

I saw much of the same with CBS News, in that their user content seemed to be located with their individual shows. I couldn’t locate anywhere that a user could submit content (other than comments) in a way such as iReport. Do you feel that they are lessening their user experience, or establishing themselves as a news distributer rather than a collaborator?

17 10 2011

No I don’t think they are lessening their user experience. I think by keeping more of their user content separate within the sections of their individual shows, it gives the actual news page the prominence and separation it merits away from opinion or amateur journalism. I think ABC would want to maintain a reputation of distributer supplemented by collaboration rather than combined equally.

17 10 2011

By allowing readers to contribute to Pine Ridge residents, they are doing something that I don’t see a lot of news organizations do. It’s a unique take on audience interaction and is a win-win for all involved. However, I think the best way to interact with an audience is through social media.

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