Gen Z’ers, editors to team up in Denmark to frame global news values

2024-03-08. A transformative, collaborative workshop bringing together more than 100 young news media users and editors from around the world, aims to identify a new set of guidelines for news outlets to ensure their products have youth appeal.

Students from the International People’s College in Elsinore, Denmark

by Lucinda Jordaan | March 8, 2024

As newsrooms search for the recipe to entice and lock in younger readers, a global collaborative project aims for a novel approach: let’s ask them.

The Global Youth News Lab, taking place on the eve of WAN-IFRA’s World News Media Congress in Copenhagen this May, will match 110 young media users from around the world, with visiting editors, to define criteria for how news outlets select, package, present and distribute news to younger audiences.

In the one-day workshop, they will explore and define the news values that matter most to them, setting a new standard and guidelines for news products.

 The workshop was conceived by Aslak Gottlieb, a Danish researcher, educator and author, who has been developing youth, journalism and education projects since 2009.  

“As a former teacher, and the father to four digital natives, I became acutely aware that quality news habits are not automatically inherited from either school, or parents,” he explains.

 This motivated him, as a journalistic fellow at Southern University of Denmark, to create an alternative set of news values to engage youth on digital news media platforms.

A decade later, “it’s time for a revision; digital platforms are constantly evolving, thus stimulating new media behaviours,” says Gottlieb.

A universal approach to a universal problem

‘Young adult media users are very selective about their online content and formats. Whereas TikTok can attract cohorts at a global scale, news media organisations must segment, leaving only narrow target groups in terms of language, preferences, and demographics.

‘I believe a universal set of youth news values are useful as a journalistic baseline when developing news media products for GenZ.’

Supported by Danske Medier and WAN-IFRA, the Youth Lab workshop takes place at a traditional Danish Folk high school:  International People’s College in Elsinore, Denmark – on Sunday, 26 May. Attendance is free, but limited. 

The Youth Lab will present its list of Global Youth News Values at the World Editors Summit on 28 May, in Copenhagen.

Register here to attend the Global Youth News Lab

Register here to attend the 75th World News Media Congress 2024

 About International People’s College 

Founded in 1921, International People’s College (IPC) is a traditional Danish Folk High School, different only in that its focus is on the world; students come from around 30 different countries, and English is the set language. 

 Folk High Schools are separate from the formal Danish education system. There are no exams, no fixed curriculum and no mandatory classes. ECTS credits are not offered but a diploma is given upon completion of the program. 

Folk High Schools in Denmark can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century when they were set up for rural communities. Today there are 69 Folk High Schools in Denmark. Many specialise in different subjects from art to music to filmmaking to journalism.

Folk High School students participating in a filmmaking class.

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