WMUR Manchester is employing a fresh-faced college student to draw young viewers to its coverage of this week’s New Hampshire primary.Joel Holland, a 22-year-old economics/finance major at Babson College, is the Hearst-Argyle station’s "WMUR.com/YouTube/Facebook campaign trail reporter." His specialty is offbeat interviews that often show a different side of the candidate, such as Republican Ron Paul discussing his battles with claustrophobia.
WMUR is using YouTube and Facebook to spread Holland’s reportage for its online "Your Fate ’08" feature to Generation Xbox. "The whole point of doing Your Fate ’08 is getting our message out to as many people as possible," says WMUR News Director Andrew Vrees. "We’re doing the things younger users say they want to see more of."
Holland knows something about reaching the kids. As an eighth grader, he interviewed some 150 celebs, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, for a children’s educational Website. "We were mastering the concept of what works for young viewers," Holland says.
Given his recent interview with Mike Huckabee supporter Chuck Norris, it seems he’s nailed it. Holland asked him to name his favorite "Chuck Norris Fact," those virally shared tall tales about the action hero’s toughness. Norris gamely replied: "They wanted to put Chuck Norris on Mount Rushmore, but the granite wasn’t tough enough for his beard."