ITV News Uses Social Media To Guide Viewers Through Government Cuts

On the day that Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Emergency Budget, ITV News will launch an interactive on-air and social media strand to help viewers understand what the cuts mean for them.

Starting on 22 June, ITV News viewers will be invited to join a one-year nationwide project called The Cuts: Your Stories, which will measure the impact of the cuts on people’s lives. Of those who get in touch, ITV News will recruit a giant panel made up of people who use and work in crucial public services. ITV News is looking for public service workers such as GPs, teachers, refuse collectors, people who deliver care for the elderly and the disabled, librarians and swimming instructors. The panel will also include families of all shapes and sizes as community care and support services that form the fabric of their lives are cut back or disappear altogether.

In addition, when The Cuts: Your Stories features on ITV News, viewers will be encouraged to go online to www.ITV.com/news to take part in live chat with ITV News reporters, financial experts and other viewers about their experiences. This live chat will take place while ITV News is being broadcast and for a period of time after the programme.

The live chat function and social media interactivity follows ITV’s success in encouraging viewers to engage in discussions at www.itv.com during the leaders’ debates and election night programme. ITV.com saw its biggest ever live online chat on the night of the First Election Debate with over 200,000 users of the live chat tool provided by Cover It Live.

Deborah Turness, Editor of ITV News, said: “The Cuts: Your Stories embodies ITV News’ commitment to putting people at the heart of the stories that matter. Government cuts will dominate the news agenda for a long time to come, and our panel will show their direct impact on people from all walks of life.

“The Debates brought social media out of the teenage bedroom and into the living room. So many people enjoyed the experience of watching TV whilst chatting online it became a mainstream experience. We wanted to build on that in our news programmes and use social media as a platform to offer useful information to our viewers whilst harvesting their take on living in ‘austerity Britain’.”

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