Research for ‘Cut the Crap’

1 Sep

The internet is flooded with political opinion blogger and the main news services that deal in political journalism every day. My job is to differentiate ‘cut the crap’ from these already popular sources.

Andrew Bolt’s blog purports to be the most-read political blog in Australia. He certainly opinionated and doesn’t hold back on sharing his right-wing views on the news of the day. He is certainly good at engaging his audience, in just seven hours since publishing his piece on the High Court’s asylum seeker ruling he’s had 420 comments, most of them agreeing with his views. People read him because they love him, people read him because they hate him- but generally, in my opinion, his views on any issue are predictable and very biased towards the coalition. Fundamentally, his blog fits into the ‘crap’ category that I want to stay away from.

In terms of facts and statistics, Pollytics does a great job of analysing the opinion polls and telling the reader in much more detail what the numbers mean. He creates graphs and charts to visually show the numbers, an idea I think could work really well on my site. Sometimes the more complicated an issue is, the easier it is to understand when it is represented visually.

There is a UK site dedicated to representing the ‘youth’ voice and includes data visualisation and videos which I think is really effective. All the data is open source too, which enables others to use it to create their own projects. Very web2.0.

I even think hungry beast-esque ‘beast file‘ audio-visual presentations could be incorporated into the site successfully. This would also give the opportunity for these videos to be shared via social media, and help build the profile of the site from peer to peer. Generation Y are much more likely to view a video that their friend has posted instead of just clicking a link to a text based blog.

Other current publishers that I think do a reasonable job are Crikey and New Matilda, but they also include opinion pieces – which I want to avoid.

I’m inspired by ABC’s ‘Behind the News‘ programme, which is aimed at 10-15 year olds. I think it makes sense to follow their lead and break down the ‘big’ issues into smaller chunks to help people understand the different elements that are making our political processes so complicated at the moment. Obviously, ‘Cut the Crap’ will be aimed at an older audience, but I think there is something to be learnt from the simplistic posing questions and then answering them accurately. I’d like to think that the readers could also pose questions on ‘cut the crap’ and have the team answer them, incorporating more interaction into the site.

Triple J’s Hack daily radio show also does a fabulous job at engaging Gen Y with current affairs. Their presence online also generates good content and compiles podcasts and other content related to their show. It’s aimed at the audience I also want to target. They use phonecalls, texts and tweets to enable their audience to interact with the show, which I think will be a challenge to incorporate into my site, but a valuable inclusion if it’s possible.

55. Beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth.


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