Public media for young Angelenos: it’s more than news

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“For our target audience, entertainment is the gateway drug to news,” said Nicole Childers of L.A. Public Media (LAPM) when she unveiled LA>Forward, the first content offering of Radio Bilingue’s service for a new generation of young adults in Los Angeles. Childers, chief content officer of the CPB-backed start-up, presented the website and the research that informed its design Sept. 24 during a session at Public Radio Program Directors conference in Denver. The multimedia website launched Sept. 16 with coverage of news, entertainment and sports–key topics defined during seven months of research led by Paragon Media Strategies. Short-form video is key to reaching young Angelenos, Childers said, and she screened several that reflected the balance her editorial team is trying to strike between cultural relevance, news that directly impacts the lives of young Latinos, and passion for sports. LAPM is initially targeting Latinos but plans to expand its reach to other ethnic minorites, all of whom want a media service that represents their experiences as Angeleos and “the melting pot that is L.A.,” Childers said. “We consider entertainment to be the lure for those in our target audience who would not ordinarily come to the site if we only offered news and information,” she explained. The PRPD session was moderated by Paragon’s Mike Henry and also featured two contemporary music stations making inroads in reaching younger, college educated adults, The Current in Minneapolis and Radio Milwaukee. Henry’s presentation is downloadable here with free subscription to Paragon’s website.