Shift or Stasis| Engaging Youth in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Through Chat Apps: Challenges and Opportunities for International News Organizations

Anne Geniets


This article focuses on strategies of international news organizations (INOs) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In particular, I examine the potential of smartphone platforms in LMICs to reach and connect with new, younger audiences. Insights suggest that chat apps (a) tend to attract new users, often a younger audience, and (b) are accessible for low-income semiliterate or illiterate people, as they allow for dissemination of video clips and images. However, despite identifying an increasing number of pilot studies and initiatives by INOs to harness chat apps to engage with these audiences, the article uncovers, through a systematic approach, a substantial gap in research regarding the effectiveness of these strategies.


mobile phone, news, chat app, mobile instant messaging, youth, young people, developing country, audience, international news organization

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