In high school, one of the main concerns that my teachers expressed is the fact that we do not follow news. As high school students, none of us would sit and read a newspaper to stay up-to-date on situations going on throughout the country and the world. My teacher put it very frankly, that being on topic of things going on around the world is a part of becoming an adult. Still, I found reading newspapers very boring. It wasn’t until I stumbled across a YouTuber that changed how I viewed news.
YouTuber Philip DeFranco has his own YouTube show, which he calls the Philip DeFranco show. The main purpose for this channel is to report on daily news. However, he puts a spin to it. His tone is very different compared to a Fox news anchor. He adds energy and excitement to his show, which actually makes it enjoyable to learn about what’s going on around the world. His show is the best of both worlds because while it informs, it also entertains while engaging his audience to join a larger conversation. At the end of every one of his videos, he leaves a question for his viewers to answer in the comments. His way of reporting made me look at news in a different way, and not just bland like newspapers.
I believe that his target audience is the younger people around the world. There are many reasons why I believe this, one of them being his persona. He acts like a goofy person so that he can capture our attention. Also, he does a lot of giveaways which the prizes are video games, t-shirts and even Netflix subscriptions. These prizes are ideal tickets for his younger audience to want to continue watching his video. Some of the content that he reports on also are more specific to his younger audience. For example, his “Describe your perfect Soulmate” video is more for the younger audience.
The way he projects his voice contributes to his content because he is doing something different. The way he is reporting on news is completely different and completely new. Adding a comedic spin to news makes it enjoyable for people like me who thinks news is boring to watch. This is the same thing that we talked about in class when we were discussing “The Linguistics of ‘YouTube Voice'” and how we are attracted to the way people talk, and not what they talk about.
This channel is a social product because the way that he is reporting on news is different, but the content that he is talking about is a product of our society. He asks us to join the conversation as well, making it less individual and more social. It is not like he is creating news himself, he is just reporting on it with his own spin. This creates a new kind of conversation instead of reading a newspaper and not being able to channel your thoughts to a larger audience. This new way of daily news has created a way for people across the world to communicate and voice their opinions. It gives them a channel to vent and learn from other YouTubers.
In terms of benefits, I feel like both parties benefits from this channel. Philip DeFranco gets paid for the amount of people that watch his channel. However, we get informed and educated for free. This is a way to keep people like me who hate reading newspapers up-to-date with the news. This is basically a business for DeFranco. He and his staff members get paid, but he also gives away gifts every video to his viewers. So we all benefit from this channel in one way or another.