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New DW series for young people as producers and viewers

ABU member Deutsche Welle has launched a multimedia documentary project to engage younger audiences.

Based on a question “What holds you back?”, Life Links is aimed at young people around the world as both audience and producers for the German international broadcaster’s new documentary-style format.

Life Links’ viewers help to develop the program from episode to episode with an emphasis on multimedia. The search for topics, research, production and broadcast at Life Links are all interactive processes that come together at Users can tell their own stories and vote for issues they would like to see covered.

Director of Programming Gerda Meuer says DW reporters call upon followers on Twitter and Facebook to help them with research, and they take up users’ questions. Via mobile reporting, users are involved onsite during filming. Using social media and the Life Links website, reporters present articles, images, audio and video of their encounters with those featured in the show.

“We have put together a young, bilingual team that is coming up with concepts for new offerings tailored to a young audience,” says Ms Meuer. “Life Links is the first format to evolve out of that innovation process.”

In each edition, Life Links draws together three fates that seem, at first glance, to be completely independent of one another. Online and on TV, users and viewers can experience how young people around the globe deal with similar problems.

When the show is broadcast, a social stream on the Life Links website will bundle users’ comments under the show’s hash tag. Through a mobile version of the website, users can comment on a second screen. The documentary can be expanded online with multimedia elements, such as material not broadcast in the show or additional information and facts.

DW was scheduled to broadcast the 30-minute, English-language TV show for the first time on 18 October 2014, after which it will be broadcast around the world every two weeks.