Gen, știri is a youth-focused news outlet from Apulum Forum Association (Romania), which wants to form a new generation of well-informed, engaged citizens, equipped to bring positive transformations to their communities ahead of a key election year in Romania in 2024. To do this, the newsroom worked with IPI’s Transition Accelerator to develop their social media strategy to reach these people where they are. Here’s how they’ve done that:

When discussing the future of media, everyone is looking at the younger generation and tries to understand how they will shape it. The most recent report shows that their way of consuming media is different than that of previous generations, both in terms of the platforms and content formats they prefer. 

These different needs were the starting point for creating the Gen, știri project, which is meant to explain the world to young people on Instagram and TikTok. 

In 2021 we started the project on Instagram only and we were overwhelmed by the wave of young people showing curiosity about the news, despite the general opinion that this demographic doesn’t care. This demonstrated a huge unmet need.

After building a strong base on Instagram, going to TikTok was the next logical step, in order to develop our project on an alternative platform which we knew was popular with the young audience, and to focus more on video. During the accelerator, with help from all the trainers and mentors, we managed not only to find our way to build our TikTok channel, but also we defined better what our targets should be, how to design our team and how to reach the public. 

We developed a team specifically for TikTok, the platform which was our focus during the project. From the beginning we worked with this team based on the advice received from the trainers and we adapted quickly to the results of the implementation. With close one-to-one guidance, the project started to grow steadily but consistently. We managed to reach our main target several months earlier than planned, because we understood very fast how to adapt to audience needs and to improve our content. 

We understood that we needed to create content at a regular rhythm, establishing expectations with our new TikTok audience. We made sure to adapt to the requirements of the platform, stay true to our tone of voice and do our best to be efficient in communicating. We understood that the audience is loyal, but the TikTok algorithm is focused on constantly improving your video content so we had to not rely on our growing audience, but push ourselves constantly. 

When working on new platforms and new ways of communication, the key is to have guidance, because each channel has different ways and rules. It isn’t enough to copy and paste a strategy from one platform to another. We were lucky enough to get this guidance at the right time and to be supported to grow – in the right way.


The Transition Accelerator is part of the Media Innovation Europe (MIE) project, co-funded by the European Commission. The programme is led by the International Press Institute, and implemented in collaboration with Thomson Media, the Media Development Foundation and BIRN and is intended to empower media outlets as they navigate the digital transition, giving them journalistic tools and skills in diverse products and business structures in order to reach audiences and bring sustainability.