Learn about the future of news and how outlets like Huffington Post are taking a stand on social issues, as told by the IC PRSSA Blog Team.
By: Mariana Camejo
When you scroll through Facebook you often see short videos by Democracy Now and Buzzfeed reporting on current events, non-profits, and new technologies. However, many news channels are missing out on this opportunity. If you’ve ever had Tom Bohn as a professor at Ithaca College, you know the future of TV is online streaming. He’d always scream one of his catchy phrases to emphasize a take away point: “for free, and for me.” No one wants to pay for news if they can receive it for free, and no one wants to go out of his or her way to see it. No one wants to be constrained to a specific time slot when it airs on a TV channel. People want news/current events fast, easy to digest, and on their own time.
Huffington Post has actually made quite a big step in this direction. They have started a new type of reporting by creating an original comedy series featuring celebrities called, “CELEBS HAVE ISSUES.” Huffington’s goal is to reach a broader audience, get more people to visit their site, check their news, increase the number of viewers, and put important issues that appeal to millennials in the spotlight. Each episode contains a 1-4 minute “commercial, promo, or PSA that puts serious causes such as equal pay, transgender rights, and mental health in the spotlight, using wit and laughter as weapons to fight the good fight.”
The first episode stars Kristen Bell bringing up the huge issue of gender inequality, specifically highlighting unequal pay. “Pink Sourcing: Pretty, cheap labor.” The episode uses satirical style to acknowledge the unfair gender inequalities between men and women in the work force. The episode shows the shocking statistics of what women get paid in comparison to men and explains the sexist biases and gender roles placed on women.
- “Is your company looking to maximize their output while cutting back on cost? Why outsource when we have the cheapest and best workforce in the good ole US of A? Women.”
- “Women are a bargain at the workplace since you only have to pay them 70 cents on the dollar!”
- “Women don’t even want to be working anyways. They’d rather be home taking care of the family while their husband gets to make life choices and follow his dreams and play fantasy football.”
The latest episode partners with the National Alliance on Mental Health to normalize and bring positivity to seeking help from a therapist for mental health. This is beyond taking advantage of streaming and broadening their audience. Huffington Post is improving their image by taking controversial topics and taking a progressive stance in an extremely innovative way. I am excited to see what other episodes and topics Huffington produces, how the public reacts to the new tactic, and to see whom else in the industry follows in Huffington’s footsteps. I think this is the future of news and public service announcements.
Click on the link and watch the trailer for the series and check out all episodes they have so far: