How to Create Impactful News Formats to Engage Gen Z Audiences


If news organizations are to have a future, they need to create formats that reach Generation Z. Also referred to as the iGeneration, Gen Z covers people in their mid-teens to early 20s, and this demographic makes up more than 30% of the global population. 

Public service broadcasters often find it difficult to keep up with ever-changing platforms, while maintaining the production of high quality journalism. Likes and views are important, but we need to tailor our news stories to engage the Gen Z audience in a more meaningful way. 

Can public service media (PSM) stay relevant in a fast-changing digital age? How can PSM gain trust from Gen Z and win the battle of becoming their primary news source? Can we create formats that engage with young people across multiple platforms and apply PSM values on these formats?

The good news is that there are success stories, which follow a pattern others can learn from. In this e-Master Class, Mark Egan and Justin Kings will deconstruct and review the various elements that make a news format successful - for example is it picture-based or emotion-led – and how this affects the relevance and engagement. Following this, you will be challenged to create a news format flexible enough to work across multiple platforms and which appeals to a Gen Z audience.

Who it's for

  • News editors
  • Content producers
  • News strategists

What you will learn

  • How to better understand Gen Z, the content they consume and how they consume it
  • Why many current formats do not resonate with Gen Z audiences
  • How to apply proven principles to develop new storytelling formats
  • Techniques to boost the creativity of programme teams 
  • How to use multi-disciplinary teams to create new, ambitious content opportunities. 

Programme Outline

Module 1: The five step story format model

  • Getting to know Gen Z - videos, examples
  • Understanding why current formats may not work with this audience
  • What the audience research says

Module 2: Creativity

  • Examples of success stories that follow this approach 
  • Using multi-disciplinary teams 
  • Creativity techniques to allow for innovation in your formats 
  • Challenge: Create an innovative storytelling format to attract a Gen Z audience 

Module 3: The module in action

  • Participants present the final pitch of their format
  • Feedback from special panel 
  • Action steps and close 


Audience insights: How to gain qualitative insights into Gen Z 
Business: Digital news-gathering 
Editorial:  The ability to challenge existing editorial models 
Innovation: Learn techniques to foster greater creativity 
Social media: How to build multi-disciplinary content creation teams 
Storytelling: How to use proven principles to create multi-platform formats 
Strategy: Develop community management strategies


After completing the 3 modules, you will be awarded an EBU Academy Certificate


Meet your faculty

Justin Kings

International media consultant, trainer and broadcaster

Justin Kings, International media consultant, trainer and broadcaster @newsleader

Justin Kings was a member of the senior management team at the BBC's first multimedia newsroom when he first started experimenting with social media. Shortly afterwards, in 2010, he worked with the EBU Academy to develop one of the first training courses for broadcasters using social platforms. 8 years on, Justin has supported the majority of EBU members in this capacity and he continues to lead Master Classes and bespoke trainings. Justin has more than 25 years’ experience in the UK as a multi-award winning broadcast journalist, editor and presenter. He's also written and lectured classes in social media and ethics and social media and news for the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications in the US.

Mark Egan

Video journalist, UK

Mark is an experienced media professional with expertise in training and new ways of working both in television and multi-media environments. Prior to starting his own production and training company, he worked for 12 years at the BBC across a range of programming from documentaries to news and entertainment and helped roll out video journalism across the company.

Academy experience

Prix Italia focuses on Historytelling in Lampedusa

Work history

June 2011 – present: Trainer for organisations such as BBC, Guardian Academy, SKY,UNHCR
Training staff on multi-skilling, videojournalism and programme-making.

Nov 2008 – Mar 2010: Video journalist, BBC democracy in action Citizenship Programmes
Shooting and editing 3 hours of content for BBC 2 for use by UK Schools in Citizenship classes. This
involved filming around the UK and abroad including India, South Africa and Australia.

June 2008 – Nov 2008: Video journalist Trainer, BBC London
Training journalists to film and edit their own stories as well as creating pieces for the regional news
programme. Working with Network producers to improve camera skills and encouraging more efficient
workflows using the latest technology.

Mar 2007 – June 2008: DV mentor, DV solutions Manchester
Consulting for departments such as Current Affairs, Religion and Entertainment on programme making using
DV and High Definition cameras and non-linear editing. This included testing cutting edge technology
including HD cameras for landmark programmes such as Around the World in 80 Faiths.

Oct 2006 – Mar 2007: Video journalst trainer, BBC People
Making news packages and delivering training courses for journalists and technical staff around the UK. This
also involved being part developing new multi-skilling practices for Nations and Regions. A key part of this
was being part of the team overseeing BBC Scotland's move to Pacific Quay.

Oct 2005 – Sept 2006: Video journalist, BBC local TV Midlands pilot projet
As a trainer and video journalist was heavily involved in piloting the BBC Local TV project in the Midlands.
The new ways of working and practices are now being adopted to form part of the new BBC Local plans.

June 2004 – Oct 2005: Video journalist trainer, Sonar centre Newcastle
My brief was to help roll out Video journalism in the nations and regions. I trained both journalist and
technical staff to make television news packages. As a trainer I also worked with the BBC Young
Filmmakers project, which involved teaching pupils from inner city schools about the film production. This
involved liaising with schools in various parts of the UK and maintaining ties in subsequent years.
Mar 2003 – June 2004: Video journalist UK-wide and for documentaries
My role during this period included working around the country illustrating how video journalism could be
used on programmes. I also jointly produced three documentaries. During this time I won a Ruby Award for
diversity broadcasting and was short-listed for the National RTS Sports Awards.

June 2001 – Mar 2003: Reporter / broadcast journalist, South East today
Reporting, producing bulletins and researching stories for the regional television news in the South East.
This involved assignments abroad and live reporting, working conventionally with crews and editors



  • - Degree in journalism from Rhodes University, South Africa.
  • - Co-producer for documentaries and inserts for Grandstand.
  • - Producer – Radio and television bulletins
  • - Reporter for regional news programmes around the UK.
  • - 5 years of experience as a producer, newsreader and reporter for BBC Radio Kent.
  • - My training roles have included multi-media journalism training and creative storytelling.


  • - Experienced in use of Z1, A1, PD 150, DSLR and EX1 cameras.
  • - Trained in using larger DSR cameras.
  • - Rigged the Yorkshire Air Ambulance with cameras for the “Helicopter Heroes” programme.
  • - Skilled in using minicams for secret filming and mounting in vehicles.


  • - Experienced user of Final Cut Pro and AVID, as well as a number of other editing systems.
  • - Good working knowledge of other editing software including Newsflash and Liquid Edition.


  • - Experienced making programmes related to school curriculums.
  • - Have developed online multi-media training modules for use by BBC staff..
  • - Undertaken training for the Training and Development Agency training teachers.
  • - Experience in planning and running extensive courses at BBC Training and BBC College of Journalism.