It’s a new world
Robin Blinder is E&P’S Editor-in Chief. She has been with E&P for three years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org By Robin Blinder
Editor and Publisher
When our daughter was little, I would often say, “She’s either going to keep me young or kill me.” And most days, it felt like a toss-up. She turned 20 recently, and I’m still here. I admit I don’t feel very young, but I have learned a lot from hanging out with her. For starters, my taste in music is pretty broad, thanks to my daughter. Second, I knew better than to ask her if she wanted a television for her new apartment. And, finally, you don’t have to convince me why pronoun choice is important. I’ve been educated by my own Gen Zer, and that has been enlightening. These are only a few of the many things she has taught me. The Washington Post team members featured in our cover story, “Journalism on Tiktok,” have much to teach us about what we need to do to appeal to the next generation of news consumers. They are using the platform to engender trust and create a following that views their newspaper as a reliable information source. (I love the reason that their account profile clearly states that The Washington Post is a newspaper.) Their stories may not look like your news stories, but 1.5 million followers prove it’s working. They are engaging with their audience and finding new ways every day to combat mistrust and misinformation. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? There are many more news organizations trying their hand at Tiktok reporting. If you spend 15 minutes on the app, you’ll learn a lot and see why it’s so popular with the younger consumer. It’s no longer relegated to dance videos and lip synching. The younger consumers especially are using Tiktok as a search engine and a source of news information. After watching a number of news Tiktoks, including those from The Washington Post team, I can understand their success. The news is there in short, fun snippets — some are more tongue-in-cheek and entertaining. Some are just shorter stand-up type news broadcasts. I just moved to the Nashville area, so I searched Nashville news. I found everything from drag performers in Nashville protesting a proposed law banning drag performances to two Tennessee state legislators who are proposing to make the day after the Super Bowl a state holiday. Who knew? You may not think this means much to you or your business, but we can’t ignore our next consumers if we are to sustain this industry. As my favorite philosopher, Yoda, said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” We need this group of vibrant, forward-thinking individuals to help us move forward and stay relevant. You may not be on Tiktok today or even next year, but learning and knowing is half the battle. That is the beginning of doing. And it might even keep you young.