APTN goes cross-platform for national chief election coverage

The initiative is an attempt to tap into the fast growing and heavy portable device-using, young aboriginal demographic, says network CEO Jean LaRose (pictured).
Jean LaRose 2 Dec 2010

Multi-platform coverage will be the emphasis for APTN at this year’s Assembly of First Nations annual general assembly, as the TV network attempts to engage more younger members of its audience.

“More than half our [aboriginal] population is 25 or younger,” APTN CEO Jean LaRose (pictured) tells Playback Daily.

“The numbers we get here about connectivity rates of our young people — whether it’s through smartphones or other portable devices — is very high. So it’s key for us to be offering very broad coverage through those platforms as well to be able to reach that part of our audience,” he adds.

The assembly, which is set to take place July 17 to 19 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, will see the election of a new national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, who will replace current chief Sean Atleo. The assembly represents the more than 630 First Nations communities in Canada.

Though APTN has been covering the general assemblies since coming on air, LaRose says this year will feature the most online coverage of any event to date.

In addition to TV coverage, he explains, “the plan is that we’ll be able to have the online feed be almost continuous, especially during some of the lulls between the various ballots.”

“The online coverage will also give us more opportunities to interview different individuals and leaders, and meet with some of the candidates,” he continues, adding that coverage of the actual ballots and any key speeches will appear live on TV.

APTN will also maintain a strong social media presence via Twitter and Facebook during the assembly.

Hosted by Cheryl Mackenzie, live coverage will begin at 9 a.m. ET July 17, with the results of the first ballot being delivered live on TV and online at 12 p.m. ET July 18.