Expanding the field of journalism on Twitch

In a few weeks, Samuel Étienne’s channel on Twitch has become a media “phenomenon”. Whenever possible, during the week or at weekends, the journalist reviews the daily press, reads extracts from articles and discusses current events. The exercise lasts for one to two and a half hours with 10 to 15,000 “viewers” aged on average 23 years, according to a quick survey conducted live. This makes it the first “streamer” (live content broadcaster) in France in mid-morning, and one of the top ten in the world on this platform, created in 2011 around video games and acquired in 2014 by Amazon.

The television journalist makes an appointment the day before on Twitter, where he is followed by 200,000 people. At the appointed time, he appears with his back to a window in his Paris apartment, hears from his community, wishes a happy birthday to those born on this day, and begins waving Unes du Figaro, L’Humanité, La Croix, VSD, Le New York Time or West France.

“A true declaration of love to the press”

The journalist presents the newspapers, giving their price and possible positioning and explains why such and such a subject appealed to him before launching debates or rapid online polls. In a second part, after yet another coffee break and jokes with “two balls”, he returns to articles from which he reads large extracts.

On the right of the screen, benevolent, interested, sometimes schoolboy comments scroll. « Mthanks to you, thanks to you I bought my first newspaper yesterday », reacts a “viewer”. “What you are doing, dear Samuel, is a true declaration of love for the press, journalism and the news. And it’s beautiful! “, bounces another. “A big thank you for your open-mindedness and what you do is something important for the creation of an intergenerational and transmedia bridge, big respect ! », Adds a third.

A story of a meeting

« It is the exercise where I took the most pleasure in 25 years of journalism ”, confided this week Samuel Étienne on franceinfo. The 49-year-old journalist was thinking of a press review when he got the urge to create his channel on Twitch. A platform discovered while being solicited during containment by Étoile. This 24-year-old videographer asked him to participate in “Nuits de la culture”, where he notably diverts… “Questions for a champion”.

Enthused by the spirit and the power of interaction of Twitch, Samuel Étienne decided to launch his channel on December 18, which brings together nearly 150,000 subscribers. The journalist appears in his name and without the France Télévisions logo, even if the public group closely follows the initiative.

The reasons for success

Matthew, a 21-year-old student who has been on Twitch for “4 or 5 years”, watches the channel when he can live, or replayed over breakfast. “Samuel Étienne arrived with humility and without a clear line. He sought to understand the codes of the environment. His way of being made that he slipped very easily and that’s great! This puts us one foot in the traditional press and shows us its great diversity.. Beyond the newspaper, I listen to the story it tells through the article in question ”.

“We must put an end to this rivalry between the media, he still believes. It’s give-and-take. On the one hand, this initiative shows that our community is not closed in on itself and is interested in many things. On the other hand, it creates a convergence between different media, and that’s interesting … “.

Generational gateway

“More than a separation between so-called“ traditional ”and“ new ”media, the success of Samuel Étienne’s morning show shows how bridges can be stretched between the two worlds, at the cost of a unique process of understanding and appropriation of the platform », analyze researchers from the Swiss University of Neufchâtel, Vincent Carlino, and Marie Rumignani on the site ofEuropean journalism observatory.

And “The relationship with the spectators” is different on TV and on Twitch, they observe, the content watched is often the same but in different formats. This is how a grandmother who was watching “Question for a Champion” finds herself watching “The morning is yours” on Twitch with her grandson. And reciprocally.

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