Traditional Media Should Adapt Their Content to Young People
Traditional Media Should Adapt Their Content to Young People
"The interests of young people today are different than 15, 20 years ago, their world has changed a lot," points out Slađan Tomić.
photo: Mediacentar Sarajevo
Young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) follow traditional media – television, radio and newspapers – less and less, and they believe that there is little educational content adapted to them in these media. They mostly find information on social networks, but also internet portals. The research "Attitudes, Habits and Needs of Youth in BiH Regarding Media Content" which was carried out by Mediacentar Sarajevo shows that 1.25 per cent of respondents follow television, while only two respondents named the press and radio as the main source of information (0.62 per cent).
Young people are more oriented towards internet portals, they spend more time at the computer and that's how they get information, says professor Aida Muminović, certified trainer and judge for KP (Karl Popper) and KPP (Karl Popper Policy) debating formats. "I believe that young people want information and they definitely get that information. Of course, it can always be better, it can always be more, and we should always work on the quality of the programs and information and content that are published," says Muminović.
Journalist of the portal BUKA Slađan Tomić also believes that traditional media generally do not have content for young people, and if they do, then it is not adapted to them. He says that the content of those media is not adapted to the youth of the 21st century, who like new approaches everything - in the media and communication methods.
"Young people nowadays use abbreviations to communicate, which means that the internal communication method has changed, and therefore the media consumption method has changed along with it. In accordance with the times, some traditional media have created platforms that are very attractive to young people, and one example is Al Jazeera Balkans," says Tomić, who participated in the debate camp held on the Igman mountain, organized by Mediacentar.
He believes that the selection of topics in the traditional media is very conservative and limited and that journalists, editors, and politicians of the traditional media have a bias towards some new topics. "There is a shift towards topics that did not exist before, stories about groups of people, about professions that did not exist before, simply the media must understand that the interest of young people in 2022 is not the same as the interest of young people in 2012, or 2002 or '92. The interests of young people today are different than 15, 20 years ago, their world has changed a lot," says Tomić.
A high school student from Srebrenik Amar Sprečo Muratović says that everyone should follow traditional media because they are a good source of information, but also that the content is more suitable for older people.
"The content of traditional media should be more adapted to young people because the world rests on young people," says Amar, who adds that he follows traditional media less precisely because they do not have enough content for young people.
He also says he follows online portals more, citing Klix.ba and the internet portal of Al Jazeera Balkans as ones he trusts the most. "I think that they have more content for young people, that is, more content that could interest me as a person, as a student, that is, a high school student. Traditional media have more information related to politics and other things that are actually irrelevant to me as a student," he explained.
A student from Foča, Isidora Trivković, says that she follows traditional media, mainly public broadcasting services, but that the content is not suitable for young people.
"I follow the news programs of all three public services, primarily for the comparative analysis of the programs, and also to inform myself and to get halfway to the truth," says Isidora.
There is content for young people on traditional media to a minimal extent, adds Isidora, but points out that during the pandemic, the public broadcasting services played a key role with classes broadcast online. "That's where the public service showed its true power and importance for people in general," she says.
Young people lack entertainment programs and positive stories that speak about their generation, but also transformations in terms of content adaptation to the digital format.
According to Slađan Tomić, young people choose to follow the types of media that are most easily accessible to them, which, he says, are mobile applications that media outlets should have.
"Traditional media should transfer their content to the digital sphere, to be accessible to young people, to have content on social networks, whether it's TikTok or Facebook. Simply put, young people should not be the ones who follow and track down traditional media, traditional media should follow young people and pull them by the sleeve, to say stop, we have quality content for you, take a look, it is easily accessible to you and processed in a way that is adapted to you", Tomić points out.
He also says that it is important for traditional media to adapt to young people, but not to change their essence, not to work the way they did 30 years ago, but to follow trends, to follow the century, decade and even the year in which they work, as he says.
On all public televisions, there is minimal programming adapted for young people, for children in general, says Amar Sprečo Muratović. In his opinion, traditional media lacks entertainment programs, but also programs that would educate young people, for example about the media, but that content should be of an entertaining nature. Isidora Trivković is of a similar opinion. She believes that there should be more shows that deal with positive stories about young people.
These two students, together with 18 others, based on the discussion during the camp on Igman with the journalist Tomić, prepared a letter that they will send to the addresses of 13 media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the letter, they highlighted their views on what they would appreciate seeing more on those pages and channels.
Youth camps such as the one on Igman held from 24 to 27 June 2022 are a great opportunity to learn about media literacy, but also to socialize, in Amar's opinion. He signed up for this debate camp because he has been debating for many years.
"I have already participated in some of Mediacentar’s workshops and I think that these workshops provide a lot of information about media literacy. I think that young people should participate in these workshops as much as possible because they provide a form of socializing, as well as education about debate and media literacy ", he says.
Professor Aida Muminović also believes that such camps have multiple benefits for young people, as she emphasizes, primarily because neither high school nor college students have the opportunity to learn about these topics through regular classes.
In her opinion, the program of the camp is set interestingly and educationally, because in the first part of the camp all participants have the opportunity to acquire theoretical knowledge about all issues related to the work of the media, familiarize themselves with real news, false information, recognise misinformation, develop accountability for disinformation, distinguishing between traditional media and internet media.
The debate camp on Igman was organised as part of the project "Youth for Better Media" funded by the European Union, and jointly implemented by Mediacentar Sarajevo and Ja bih u EU.