Infotainment: news in a language they understand
Bloggers and news organizations who are getting people the news they need in a language they "get."
- QRANK, a trivia question application, has brought the classic pub quiz to your phone and into your facebook profile -- it's the ultimate modern day crossword puzzle.
And with more and more news organizations trying to reach potential reader, QRANK isn't the only app out there making news "infotaining."
- At Saturday's SXSW Interactive panel "Yes, It's Quiz Time: News as Infotainment", Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith and NPR's Elise Hu talked about making serious news interesting using games like QRANK. QRANK developer Rodney Gibbs said the gaming aspect of the application keeps users coming back to compete with Facebook friends.
- QRANK and its large social crowd gives the app a possible educational spin as well as a replacement or supplement to current events quizzes.
At the same time, users can delve further into subjects with permalinks to Texas Tribune content. Conversely, Tribune readers can connect with QRANK from selected Trib articles.
- Hu, a "hunter, gatherer and recovering TV reporter," (and now with NPR) said she tried to make content more engaging to Trib readers "who wouldnt otherwise want to see a candidate" of a political race with Stump Interrupted - a funny spin to the traditional stump speeches. The first in the series was Kay Bailey Hutchison.
- Hu said she enjoys working with multimedia because it's a way to marry moving images with sound, animation and text while keeping viewers interested in the content.
- The panelists agreed that not all news can be made entertaining immediately (tsunami), most news can be converted into content (video, slideshows, photos, blogs/articles, infographics) that is entertaining, engaging and relevant to readers.
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