NewsTrack: Final Thoughts on Mic.Com and the Millennials (I guess that means me too)

In terms of timing, Mic.com dropped the mic. I must admit, after following their site for the past semester; diving into the layout, content, and modern technology used I had presumed I would easily be able to wrap up conclusions. It is due to the demographic they are directly aiming for, that I am unable to write objectively on the strengths, weaknesses, and overall news quality of my news track site, Mic.Com.

A precursor about myself, undeniably tying into my assessment of the website as a whole, lays on the premise that I am a Millennial and I have traditionally felt under attack when an organization is attempting to target “someone like me.” This does not mean I am an old school hardliner, nor a millennial who believes they are a different breed of millennial, but I am simply not amicable towards information filtered through a hip edgy lens meant to catch my attention.

That being said, I appreciate new ways of appealing to readership, especially in order to inform and add perspective to domestic and global issues. Under these guises, Mic.Com thrives. Keeping in mind the end goal of any industry, to make money, and the end goal of most modern day news corporations, to appeal to the invigorated political mindsets of millennials, Mic.com seized this opening in 2011 and have skirt the line ever since.

In order to encapsulate the website, the essence along with the concrete tools used, I look at the basic layout of the website under three separate categories.

1. Contemporary Content

The first, and most important revolves around the actual material mic.com produces and reports on. As I have previously said, the mission statement is geared towards the youth, with the goal of informing and adding to the conversation on a relevant issue. Understanding this helped me see the flow of their business model, and why certain angles were reported, while more mainstream sides were ignored.

As a news organization that took an approach both as an an informer and an entertainer, the content varies to both extremes. Although this can mean awkward layouts of very different topics, I feel mic.com is able to stay on top of breaking news.

For instance, two articles came out on MOAB on April 13th, the day Trump issued the order. Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.31.31 PM.png

However also categorized under news are all the articles pictured below. Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.08.46 PM.png

2. Edgy Outlook

While I was tracking there website, mic.com changed the headings for the categories they write under. Instead of what was more typical subject headings like politics or science, they changed to… (what are the new mic.com headings) This serves two purposes. By making headers into more specific categories, and attaching an almost story feel to the titles, mic.com is able to continue long threads of stories, which is often the case in the news today, without getting pieces lost in the refresh button. The headlines below, though vague, are not wholly encapsulating, including international politics or environmental updates which are fit to mold one headline or another. The headlines do seem to remind writers to always pay attention to each category, and how to keep the stories fresh, especially considering the importance of each category. Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 1.33.07 PM.png

The creativity mic.com put into the headlines, they appear to put into every single article. The mission statement includes a portion directed at their goal; to add to the conversation, challenge the readership, and hopefully, to create conversation. The end result gives the viewer an array of articles on subjects that were broken much earlier and much more concisely on other sites, however from a lens that may not have been covered yet. Examples of these can be seen in my previous news track posts.

There is no doubt the niche mic.com appeals to is not so much a niche but a demographic. However, in attempts to reach this demographic, mic.com lets down traditional journalism values by ignoring any arguments that could be made for Republicans. The other issue with bringing an edge to liberal news, means less depth, and more opinion. There is nothing inherently wrong with the trade off, it just means younger liberals find confirmation bias and a new angle on a subject, rather than more information and a greater scope of the issue at hand.

3. Modern Tech Breaks

In summation of the two points above, mic.com is concurrent with their technology use. The news website gets most of their publicity through short, informational videos on a variety of topics. Often with young hosts, who come to be known faces, with quick imagery changes and mass popularity on facebook, mic.com was one of the first to capitalize on videos within social media sites and gained a following from there.

Mic.com doesn’t limit there technology usage to there production. For their MOAB coverage, they issued a video of CNN’s reporting.

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 2.24.12 PM.png

Mic.com also paved the way with self made videos, capitalizing on short clips, Facebook suggestions, and comforting video talents. Made apparent through mic.com’s early start with news videos and explanatory content, mixed with interviews gartering them millions of views since 2013.

Take Away

I think this medium was exactly expected. Seizing on a gap, mic.com was one of the first to expand on there content in a way that attracted Millennials. Mic.com couldn’t be the first to report, nor could they be the most in depth, or even on the scene, because the criteria had already been owned by much larger, more efficient and credible news organizations. The opening lay within the technological age, and the kids growing up with it. mic.Com filled a gap between the dullness of strictly news articles, and kids who wanted to be informed. Commercializing on fresh perspectives, mic.com brings 21st century concepts into what used to be strictly news.

Even if reading a single source these days was acceptable, no one should be singularly reading mic.com. The content, though captivating and often newsworthy mixed with entertainment news under the same umbrella, brings down the credibility. The freshness seems forced, and angles are sharply angled, but I can’t help but feel a little more informed while having a bit of surfing fun. I’m also too aware of how well I fit into their box.

 

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