If you want to see how immersive media can be, just watch someone who’s playing a video game. The outside world fades away. The gamer is often oblivious to the passage of time. Hours pass like minutes. As broadcasters, we’ve been forced to accept that TV is often only on in the background, relegated to the ‘second screen.’ Wouldn’t it be nice to regain the kind of immersed attention achieved in interactive games?
At Cronkite News, we wondered how we might apply some of the principles of gaming in service of the goals of journalism to inform our audience on issues that matter. That’s what led us to experiment with the News Quiz. We decided to implement the quiz as part of a special report we produced called “Recycling Reductions” as an in-depth look at how changes in the politics and economics of recycling since 2017 have caused significant cost increases and service reductions for recycling programs in our broadcast area in Arizona.
WHAT WE DID: THE NEWS QUIZ
We wanted to test the idea that audiences on-air and online would stay longer and be more engaged with our coverage if we gave them the chance to participate via a live news quiz testing their knowledge of recycling while we reported on the problem. For easy scoring, we opted to go with 10 questions incorporated during the first 15 minutes of our newscast dedicated to recycling coverage. Reporters from our Sustainability team researched possible quiz questions, and we ultimately chose