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SXSW Interactive 2016

Making The News Personal

How does R29 make millions of young people care about the 2016 election? You take the news and you personalize it. A millennial reader wants stories written by her cohort, about her, and telling stories with a direct connection to her life.

A reported story about the re-opening of the Cuban embassy falls largely unnoticed; a young woman in Havana writing about the day she found out about the news really resonates. A poll of millennial women finds that most (60%) support Hillary Clinton, but only half that number consider themselves Democrat. Personal beats party.

In this panel, a group writers and editors covering politics for young people online discuss how they tell stories.

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  1. How do you make young people care about politics leading up to the 2016 election?
  2. When digital editors chase personal stories and 'viral' angles for big news stories, what's gained and what's lost?
  3. Does this model rely too much on traditional news outlets as the primary source of information, or can it become the primary model?



Ben Reininga, Deputy Editor, Refinery29

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