Traditional program embraces online interactivity

60 Minutes, one of the most-watched current affairs program in both NZ and overseas, yesterday announced their exciting new partnership with YouTube. Under the agreement, YouTube will now host full episodes of the program on-demand as well as launching an “Ask 60 Minutes” feature. Each week, a question will be put up on 60 Minutes’ YouTube page, inviting responses from the public in the form of a comment, video response, or both.

With this announcement, 60 Minutes has become the latest in a growing trend of mainstream news media outlets that are beginning to dip their toes into the various streams of social media.

We are seeing more television programmes encouraging interactivity with their viewers in addition to simply broadcasting content. One of the best local examples here in New Zealand was last year’s leaders debate, which used YouTube-submitted videos from voters asking the tough question of our election candidates. However, this was almost a year ago, and in order for ordinary New Zealanders to understand the value of emerging technologies we need to incorporate it into mainstream media as often as possible so that individuals and businesses will see how platforms like YouTube are useful for more than just watching cute cats falling asleep.

Will we see this sort of idea being implemented more in New Zealand? Do you see 60 Minutes New Zealand implementing a similar model to their US counterparts? What if John Campbell (who is one of the few reporters in NZ who embraces the digital space on his program), recapped the show live on Ustream with a guest? That way you are really engaging your viewers on a personal level, and it sure beats the snail mail!

Editor in Chief at here SMNZ, I have a passion for social and digital media. When not writing and managing SMNZ I am the Head of Innovation at TAG The Agency, a digital ad agency and the Head of Sales and Marketing for End-Game, a software development agency. I'm also involved with a number of startups and I am always keen to support those that are bold enough to give things a go. Start something, better to try than to live wondering what if...


  1. Thomas Scovell Reply

    An interesting move – if a little obvious. But I think mainstream media are doing themselves a disservice with too much of this msm-online integration. At their worst the 6pm news programmes start to seem like an hour long advertorial for their website. Every story referring you to their website for "more in-depth analysis" or "the full story" or "to contribute your opinion" – implying that the actual broadcast is a mere trailer for the real news elsewhere. At this point most people are probably beginning to think that they should skip the TV cast and go straight to the web at their leisure.

    One of the values of the main stream media (whether TV, radio or press) is that they have strong editorial input that decides what is important enough to know and we can be confident when we consume them that we're on the same page (literal or figurative) as the rest of the country – we can feel relatively up-to-date with the world by digesting a single programme/paper/show. But by splintering their voice of authority across media in this way they're losing our confidence and focus. We'll all just wander off to gossip blogs for our news instead…

    (Note: no implication that MSM have ever provided an actual comprehensive view of the world intended. ;))

    1. @IAmJohnLai Reply

      Ah Thank you for another thought provoking comment there Thomas,

      So In order for this sort of implementation to work, like your live tweet question or discussion, video questions should be done right there when the show is broadcasting live ? If that is what I am hearing correctly


      1. Thomas Scovell

        Well I certainly think that if you are going to turn the audience into participants, then rather than ghettoizing them in the after-show you should do it during the main-act.There is a certain amount of condescension in the way MSM treats user generated content. They allow it in enough to make the viewer feel like they are a participant (and the broadcaster is "onto it") – but not enough to really effect their agenda or take on the story.

        There is something more genuine around the spontaneous use of things like Twitter as a back-channel during TV shows (which happens regularly in NZ) than when main stream media integrate it directly into the show themselves. And maybe that is for the best – if we take our conversation about a show into the broadcaster's spaces then we play by their rules and are subject to their censorship, spin and framing.

        Perhaps it is best that we, as the public, use these great tools for ourselves and retain the freedom to do with them as we would rather than having to limit ourselves to the way MSM would have us use them (most of which focus on driving traffic, not useful discussions!). But perhaps I'm overly cynical of certain media organisation's motives when I needn't be. 😉

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