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Study points to ways public media could build teen and tween audience — and risks of not trying – Current



A report from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop released in May made plain what had already been clear to some for years: Public media isn’t on the radar of many tweens and teens.

Researchers for the CPB-backed study arrived at their findings with the help of 50 interviews with participants from 10- to 17- years old. Some of the interviewees’ comments are a gut punch: “I don’t feel like I’m ever gonna really get back into watching TV, but I do know a lot of people aren’t gonna watch PBS anymore, ‘cause it’s mostly Curious George and stuff like that,” said a 14-year-old from Bossier City, La. “[It’s] little kid shows.”

A 14-year-old from New York City said, “I’ve grown out of the side that caters to kids and moved on to stuff that suits older audiences like documentaries and reality shows. I do occasionally happen to stumble by kid shows from PBS, but that’s basically it.” 

Some participants said they’re fans of PBS’ children’s programming and nonfiction shows such as cooking programs, but interviewees also “hesitated or expressed confusion” when asked what public media meant to them, according to the report.

“Overall, our interviews suggest that there is a significant gap in youth understanding of the value of public media as something distinct from commercial media,” researchers wrote in the report’s conclusion. “Those with prior public media exposure generally have positive associations with shows and characters from their early childhood, but most dropped off as viewers in elementary school and do not currently see their interests reflected in the offerings of their local stations.”

Titled “The Missing Middle: Reimagining a Future for Tweens, Teens, and Public Media,” the study was commissioned by CPB “because we recognized that public media needs to better understand teens and tweens and how they interact with media to better serve this audience,” said Deb Sanchez, SVP of education and children’s content operations, in a statement.

“The findings will help to inform future content development, local station projects, and potential partnerships,” Sanchez said, adding that the report will also influence American Graduate, public media’s workforce initiative. 

If heeded, the study could motivate public media to produce more programs with teens and tweens in mind, said Monica Bulger, a senior fellow at the Cooney Center and co-author of the “Missing Middle” report. Public media can leverage its strengths by increasing its brand awareness among teens and tweens, Bulger said, which may be necessary for its long-term viability.

“Expecting people who are engaged as children to become engaged as an adult might be missing this important developmental phase where they could really be engaging with trusted quality content throughout their adolescence,” Bulger said. “We risk, if we don’t engage them now, the teens and tweens of today might not as adults of tomorrow value public media or understand its value.”

‘Authentic representation’

“Missing Middle” named a handful of public broadcasting initiatives that are leading the charge in improving youth media efforts, including the WNET Group’s Youth Collective, an advisory board of high-school and early college students who help suggest programming that could engage teens. A Kentucky Educational Television program, News Quiz, is a weekly current-events program aimed at students.

Such examples demonstrate what is possible but “are still the exception rather than the rule,” the report said.

PBS declined to comment on the report, but in an interview with Cheddar in May, PBS Chief Programming Executive Sylvia Bugg said that PBS Digital Studios’ content can increase engagement with younger, diverse audiences. PBSDS channels and programs geared toward such audiences include It’s Lit, a literature show; Sound Field, which covers music; Monstrum, which focuses on myths and legends; and Voices, a channel that relaunched last year with a docuseries on the LGBTQ community and has continued to produce short documentaries.

Others in pubmedia are also using YouTube to reach younger audiences. Above the Noise, a series for teens produced by KQED in San Francisco, has discussed topics including unpaid internships, meat consumption, wildfires and voting. TPT in St. Paul, Minn., produced America From Scratch, a show about politics that is now on hiatus.

Public media also has the opportunity to create more content for teens and tweens with their involvement. “Youth are looking for other youth to connect with in these spaces,” Bulger said. “They want authentic representation. They don’t necessarily want programming for them — they want programming by them and with them.”

Participants in the “Missing Middle” study reinforced that finding. They generally said they wanted more programming produced by people in their age group, Bulger said, but added that there is still a need for educational content led by adult professionals.

A 17-year-old from New York City said she finds a real estate specialist’s TikTok videos inspiring because she also wants to become a businesswoman. Other participants said they learn arts skills from social media and YouTube. An 11-year-old from Bossier City, La., said she looks for trusted sources that can teach her life skills like “how to survive middle school.”

Anecdotal evidence suggests that how-to videos are a good place to start if public media wants to reach teens and tweens, Bulger said, because they leverage the system’s mission and expertise with education. “Youth are overserved on content and underserved in quality right now,” she said.

‘Creating a home for kids’

Ellen Doherty, CCO for Fred Rogers Productions, said the study’s findings confirm what she’s suspected for years and will influence the development of future programs, including for the 10- to 17-year-old age group.

“We have a small number of projects that are in development,” Doherty said, “but we’re looking at new platforms, not just traditional linear content.” She said future projects could be geared towards 8- to 11-year-olds, who have likely aged out of some PBS Kids programs.

Public media has set a precedent for distributing audio and video programs that have influenced tween and teenage media, Doherty said, citing Degrassi High and Bill Nye the Science Guy. It might take a coordinated effort among producers, programmers and PBS on a national level to distribute programs that can reach people on a variety of platforms, she said.

“I would look at putting content through that PBS syndication model but also having it live on YouTube and social media platforms,” Doherty said. “… Maybe a YouTube partnership will be a way to do this. There’s an opportunity, certainly — it’s just about creating a home for kids so they know where to go and have a destination to click to.”

The “Missing Middle” study also pointed to PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs as an example to be followed systemwide. Founded in 2009, SRL has partnered with public media stations and middle and high schools to help students produce local reporting, video projects and podcasts.

Some of the students’ work has been featured on NewsHour. One example is a March 14 segment about the perils of video conferencing, commonly called “Zoom fatigue.” John Barnes, a student at the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program in Arlington, Va., co-led the segment with teacher Kathleen Akerley and SRL youth media producer Eli Kintisch.

Leah Clapman, founder of Student Reporting Labs, said that she has confirmed through focus groups that students have difficulty connecting with most news broadcasts. She learned through students that while leveraging new and emerging platforms like TikTok is important, it does not replace building an authentic connection with younger audiences.

Clapman also said it’s difficult to get some station leaders to engage with SRL. “We do work with stations, but in so many cases it’s a challenge to sell Student Reporting Labs to the leadership and get the buy-in that we need to do the work in a newsroom,” she said, adding that stations who do work with SRL discover that it’s rewarding to work with teens and tweens.

Improving connections with teens and tweens on a local level is needed to help stations navigate today’s media landscape, said Marie Cusick, an SRL youth media producer.

“It’s that cliché: You need to evolve or die,” Cusick said. “The audience is changing, the world is always changing, so how are you going to make sure that you’re still relevant to people in your community in the years and decades to come?”

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Company set to buy Trump’s social media app faces subpoenas – Global News



The company planning to buy Donald Trump’s new social media business has disclosed a federal grand jury investigation that it says could impede or even prevent its acquisition of the Truth Social app.

Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. dropped 10% in morning trading Monday as the company revealed that it has received subpoenas from a grand jury in New York.

Read more:

Jan. 6 committee hears of Trump’s pressure on Justice Department over election

The Justice Department subpoenas follow an ongoing probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission into whether Digital World broke rules by having substantial talks about buying Trump’s company starting early last year before Digital World sold stock to the public for the first time in September, just weeks before its announcement that it would be buying Trump’s company.

Trump’s social media venture launched in February as he seeks a new digital stage to rally his supporters and fight Big Tech limits on speech, a year after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

The Trump Media & Technology Group – which operates the Truth Social app and was in the process of being acquired by Digital World – said in a statement that it will cooperate with “oversight that supports the SEC’s important mission of protecting retail investors.”

The new probe could make it more difficult for Trump to finance his social media company. The company last year got promises from dozens of investors to pump $1 billion into the company, but it can’t get the cash until the Digital World acquisition is completed.

Stock in Digital World rocketed to more than $100 in October after its deal to buy Trump’s company was announced. The stock traded at just around $25 in morning trading Monday.

Digital World is a special-purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, part of an investing phenomenon that exploded in popularity over the past two years.

Click to play video: 'U.S. Capitol siege hearings focus on Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn 2020 election'

U.S. Capitol siege hearings focus on Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn 2020 election

U.S. Capitol siege hearings focus on Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn 2020 election

Such “blank-check” companies are empty corporate entities with no operations, only offering investors the promise they will buy a business in the future. As such they are allowed to sell stock to the public quickly without the usual regulatory disclosures and delays, but only if they haven’t already lined up possible acquisition targets.

Digital World said in a regulatory filing Monday that each member of its board of directors has been subpoenaed by the grand jury in the Southern District of New York. Both the grand jury and the SEC are also seeking a number of documents tied to the company and others including a sponsor, ARC Global Investments, and Miami-based venture capital firm Rocket One Capital.

Some of the sought documents involve “due diligence” regarding Trump Media and other potential acquisition targets, as well as communications with Digital World’s underwriter and financial adviser in its initial public offering, according to the SEC disclosure.

Digital World also Monday announced the resignation of one of its board members, Bruce Garelick, a chief strategy officer at Rocket One.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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GUNTER: Coun. Michael Janz doesn't need a social media censor – Edmonton Sun



Janz should not be investigated by the city’s integrity commissioner, or as I would recommend renaming the position, the city’s social media censor.

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It should be obvious I’m not a big fan of Michael “Mosquito Mike” Janz, the city councillor most responsible for ending the city’s mosquito-spraying program. The flying pests are noticeably worse this summer; I’ve got the bites to prove it.

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Thanks, Mosquito Mike.

In general, I don’t care for Janz’s politics and especially his anti-police harangues. Check out his Twitter feed. He complains about police about once a month, sometimes even more often.

He accuses them of race and class double standards. He thinks they slough off investigations of alleged crimes against lower-income Edmontonians and routinely mislead the public to cover their own misdeeds.

I find it particularly detestable that he is alleged recently to have retweeted a post from a Calgary account referring to police as “pigs.”

(Calling the police “pigs” is not only detestable, but laughably archaic, too. Hey, Councillor, the late ’60s called. They want their tie-dyed shirt and peace medallion back. Groovy, man.)

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Yet, so long as Janz must account to his voters, he should be free to tweet and retweet as he sees fit. The relationship is between the electors and their elected representative. If they disapprove of his online behaviour, they can vote him out of office.

Janz should not be investigated by the city’s integrity commissioner, or as I would recommend renaming the position, the city’s social media censor.

It should be up to the voters who elected Janz to punish him, if they so desire, not some appointed adjudicator who doesn’t answer to voters directly.

A complaint has been filed with the integrity commissioner, Jamie Pytel, by sometimes local Liberal candidate, Thomas Deak. In the complaint, Deak says Janz retweeted the following post, “So this week a co-worker got a $409 ticket for failing to stop his bike at a stop sign. It was 7 a.m. in a residential area, the roads were empty, except for the pig hiding in the bushes.”

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Get outraged. Compose an email to the Sun. Post your own tweet condemning Mosquito Mike for his retweeting of juvenile, anti-police name-calling.

But don’t go running to the censor asking her to clap Janz in irons just because you find his opinion (in this case his second-hand opinion) infuriating. Grow up. This is a democracy. We get to have opinions, even unpleasant ones, so long as we respect the right of others to opinions we vehemently disagree with.

Remember, that any government tool that can be used to hush-up your opponents will almost most certainly be turned on you one day, too.

I find it hilarious that Janz, in his own defence, insists there is a plot to “erroneously paint me as some sort of anti-police radical.” Nothing “could be further from the truth.”

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Apparently, in his own mind, Janz is a big fan of police.

But remember, Janz was recently also hauled before the integrity commish for tweeting, liking or retweeting nearly two dozen anti-police posts near the end of last year.

Hmm, he certainly has an odd way of showing his love and respect for the Edmonton Police Service.

Own it, councillor. You don’t like the cops much.

But that is his right. He gets to have a seat on council and hold juvenile, archaic, anti-police opinions until the voters in his ward tire of his schtick and punt him from office.

Even after that, he still gets to hold his objectionable views, he just can’t do it as a councillor anymore.

In his run-in with Pytel earlier this year, Janz was not sanctioned by Edmonton’s in-house play-nice-children scold.

And he shouldn’t have been, just as he shouldn’t be reprimanded now.

The whole integrity commissioner ideal just gets in the way of democracy.

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Omnicom Media Group Heads Home from Cannes with 39 Lions, the Media Network Crown, a New Global Consultancy and a Big Lead in Connected Commerce – Canada NewsWire



OMG’s OMD Worldwide Named Media Network of the Year

NEW YORK, June 27, 2022 /CNW/ — With a combination of accolades and headline-making announcements, Omnicom Media Group (OMG), the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) was a dominant presence at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

On the accolades front, OMG agencies earned a total of 39 Lions and its OMD agency, the largest global media network by billings, was named Media Network of the Year. This marks the second consecutive year that an OMG agency took the Network of the Year title, which was awarded to PHD in 2021. 

Concurrent with its performance in the competition, OMG earned headlines each day of the festival, announcing a series of first-mover collaborations with retail media networks, as well as the global expansion of its TRKKNanalytics and ad consultancy that is one of the largest Google Marketing Platform (GMP) partners in Europe.

OMG’s Lions’ Share
The 39 Lions earned by OMG agencies – 7 Gold, 13 Silver and 19 Bronze – encompassed work from APAC, EMEA, North America and LATAM, spanning the automotive, CPG, Beverage Technology and Travel sectors; and including competition categories that reflect a wide range of both established and emerging priorities for clients – from data-driven targeting and insights to integrated media to corporate purpose and responsibility.

A strong global footprint was also evident in OMD’s Media Network of the Year award, with work from Portugal, France and Australia helping fuel the agency’s win.

“Being named Media Network of the Year is especially meaningful coming at a time when brands are re-evaluating their business, marketing and technology operations to better address new realities – both economic and cultural,” said George Manas, CEO, OMD Worldwide. “They need a trusted partner in transformation – and this recognition helps confirm that OMD is that partner.”

Taking the Lead in Connected Commerce
During the Cannes festival OMG announced four first-mover strategic partnerships with retail media networks, beginning Monday, June 20, with Walmart Connect announcing their first-ever agency holding company partnership with Omnicom. The agreement will enable cross-screen planning against Walmart audiences in Omni – Omnicom’s open operating system which orchestrates better outcomes for clients across the entire consumer purchasing journey – allowing Omnicom’s agencies to deliver connected experiences across media and commerce platforms with-in owned, earned, and paid environments.

Over the next three days, OMG also revealed details of its partnership with Instacart, that will help Omnicom clients better understand how media spend drives purchase of products on that platform; how Amazon is supporting OMG’s eCommerce training and certification programs; and its collaboration with Kroger Precision Marketing that will allow planners to optimize in-market retail media, utilizing shopper behavior data to shift spend based on product availability, and still have the flexibility to optimize media while maintaining national consumer demand.

Describing the collective impact of the announcements, Omnicom eCommerce CEO Frank Kochenash said, “With each collaboration, we are adding another layer of unique capabilities to a connected commerce offering that encompasses the totality of client investment across all media channels, screens and environments.”

A Global Expansion for the Cookieless World
OMG wrapped the industry’s most global of events with news of a global expansion, announcing on the last day of the festival that it is expanding TRKKN- its digital analytics ad technology and cloud consultancy that is one of the largest Google Marketing Platform sales partners across the European market – to APAC, the Middle East and North America. The expansion will assure global best practices that enable GMP & GCP efficiency and effectiveness, while also giving OMG greater flexibility to help in-housed media operations manage their Google marketing and cloud stacks to drive better business results in the cookieless future.

Summing up the desired takeaway from OMG’s high profile throughout Cannes 2022, OMG global CEO Florian Adamski says, “People were coming to Cannes this year looking for more than the big parties – they wanted big ideas and big actions that will help them solve the big challenges that we as an industry are all facing: privacy, connected commerce, measurement, the cookieless future, talent. Through the work we submitted, the partnerships we announced, the capabilities we’re expanding, and the close to 20 thought-leader forums we hosted over the week with clients and partners, I think the net takeaway for marketers is obvious: OMG is meeting these challenges- and we can help you meet them, too.”

About Omnicom Media Group
Omnicom Media Group (OMG) is the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), a leading global marketing and corporate communications company, providing services to more than 5,000 clients in more than 70 countries. Omnicom Media Group  includes full- service media agencies OMDPHD and Hearts & Science as well as the Annalect data and analytics division that developed and manages Omni, the open architecture operating system underpinning all Omnicom agencies.

SOURCE Omnicom Media Group

For further information: Isabelle Gauvry, +1-917-435-6457, [email protected]

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