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Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues. This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.

What News Consumers Want on Digital Platforms

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A study the American Press Institute recently completed for the Brookings Institution found that digital news consumers are interested in in-depth and enterprise reporting. That runs counter to the long-held belief that on-line stories should be short and to the point.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton said more and more people are reading news on their smart phones and other mobile devices.  And it’s become easier for them to do that as the screens on those phones have increased in size.

She hopes the findings encourage news organizations to do more enterprise and investigative stories.

Panelist Rich Egger said the report also found that photographs, audio clips, and video clips increase engagement.  He’s not surprised photos and videos do that, but he did find it interesting that audio clips make an impact. He felt people would be more likely to look at something than listen to a piece.

Panelist Jonathan Ahl found the report generally encouraging.  He would like to see more journalists engaged in investigative and enterprise reporting.  But he feels we still have a lot more to learn about how digital media is used, and he cautioned many people still quickly glance at on-line stories instead of reading through them.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.