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How the New Media Hashtag Works With the Old Media Newscast

You may have noticed that “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” includes the #ABCWorldNews Twitter hashtag in the lower right of the screen during newscasts. This two-week old addition to a 45-year-old broadcast (depending on when you start the count) is an effort to increase viewer engagement. “World News” is the first nightly newscast to display a hashtag throughout the entire broadcast.

As a result, “World News” has seen a jump in the amount of viewer engagement on Twitter over the past two weeks.

Pre-hashtag, there was an average of 1,300 mentions of “World News” on Twitter. Since the use of the hashtag, that number has almost tripled to approximately 3,500 mentions.

By comparison “NBC Nightly News” sees just over 2,000 tweets on average and the “CBS Evening News” sees less a thousand.

Twitter engagement is one thing. Whether it can translate into increased viewership, which should be the goal, is yet to be seen.

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