Can Doodle The News Take It To The Next Level? SXSW Aftermath

Can Doodle The News Take It To The Next Level? SXSW Aftermath

DISCLAIMER: The following article was written on March 13th, 2018, after my departure from South By South West (SXSW). Please enjoy.

It’s incredible to see what SXSW has turned into over the years. Some long time Austin, TX natives probably remember a time when the biggest festival of the year was the Austin Aqua-fest, not knowing it would become an event 150,000+ people attend over the course of two weeks.

I only stayed for a little less than a week, and my first SXSW experience was worthwhile. I collected a huge chunk of business cards and made connections with brilliant people across world. Fortunately, I feel more confident in my journey with Doodle the News, your home for bite-sized, revolutionary journalism.

Many people loved my mission to help youth and young adults learn about current events and help teach each other about what’s going on in the world. I made it a goal to stay until the end of every session I attended, giving myself a chance to talk to the panelists and other audience members. Believe it or not, some of the most interesting people I met weren’t even the ones to give the lecture!

I was even able to randomly meet interesting people in the busy streets of Downtown Austin. For instance, I met Laura Dornheim, the Head of Communications at Flattr, a revamped internet add-on to help digital media entrepreneurs monetize content they would typically publish for free online. This festival is riddled with interesting people, and I was happy to be a part of the experience.

Every time I asked a question in a session, I always made sure to introduce myself and the startup I am building at Newhouse. These industry experts were usually supportive of my efforts and offered great advice that have helped me iron out a direction for Doodle the News.Tobe Attah Doodle the News blurb

Some of the best advice came from Cameron Burgess and Madelynn Martiniere from their workshop Billions to Trillions – Designing for Social Outcomes and a conversation a few days later. I learned the value of closing the gap more on my target audience for Doodle the News. Originally, I guessed my demographic to be 13-19 year old as a basic range to start with. Now, I believe I will focus more on kids that are 11-15 years old, as younger audience are more likely to be receptive to my message.

Kids who are 16 and older grew up in the Internet Revolution; they have finely crafted entertainment sources they were able to develop overtime. This makes it harder for Doodle the News to enter their realm of media consumption, and this isn’t a battle I can afford to fight. Instead, I might have more success reaching younger audiences open to anything, and Doodle the News could be their go-to source for news and information over time.

Our news environment has obviously shifted toward a time when entertaining stories often get more attention than a story involving factual reporting to enhance a reader’s global awareness. Our celebrity-in-chief’s rise to power and following antics have revealed how much this country needs a means of enjoyment (or sometimes cynical laughter) when consuming news, so I’m hoping to take this route from a more genuine and uniting angle.

If we can have our younger students become more civic minded, we can create a new generation of global leaders able to help combat the problems this beautiful planet faces. Tech leaders and various intelligent people come together at events like SXSW to collaborate and share what added value they bring into the world to make it better. I hope to awaken this mindset for young people with Doodle the News, a multiplatform hub accessible to them, by them.

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Tobenna Attah
Transmedia Entrepreneur
Tobe V. Attah is a multimedia entrepreneur with a mission to innovate in today’s new media landscape while making a meaningful impact in the world. He founded Doodle the News in October 2017, a mutliplatform hub for people to have their voices heard and help them become more civic minded through bite-sized journalism.
He has been published across a wide variety of media outlets, including Sports Illustrated, the Cornell Daily Sun, SportTechie, Clutchpoints, Cavs Nation, the Cornell Chronicle, and many more.
Tobe has a plethora of hobbies, including writing, athletics, drawing, acting, and collaborating with others about ideas and startups working in the multimedia space.