October 22, 2007 in Business

CNN.com offers more fresh ideas

The Spokesman-Review

CNN’s Youth Factor

Web: http://www.cnn.com/ services/podcasting/

Feed: http://rss.cnn.com/ services/podcasting/specials/rss.xml

CNN.com has worked hard to reach young listeners and Web viewers. It’s created more than a dozen specialized podcasts, with Youth Factor clearly aimed at the Web-savvy under-25 crowd.

It’s a weekly audio podcast focusing exclusively on young people and the issues that will affect how, or if, they vote in the 2008 elections.

While a more in-depth podcast might tackle this topic with sit-down interviews and slow discussions, Youth Factor runs to the opposite extreme. Podcast host Amanda Moyer spends almost no time setting up each episode’s topic then lets 15 or so young people get in quick statements on candidates or issues. You find no follow-up questions, no chance to probe for reasons.

You hear one quick comment, followed by another, then another. All pumped out to a dance beat soundtrack. This creates four-minute episodes that may be aimed at young listeners, or it might just be aimed at their parents who are still wondering what their kids say to other adults about their voting preferences.

We hope it gets sharper and smarter.

Overall rating: B.

Production quality: Very good.

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