Explainer videos: visual journalism for social platforms

In the ultra-competitive world of social media, it can be very hard to make factual content in a way that appeals to digital audiences. Explainer videos can be an excellent way to deliver information and context quickly and efficiently on social platforms.

In this course, we focus on the format and design of explainer videos. We look at the latest examples from News organisations and broadcasters and use practical exercises to put what they’ve learnt into action. With the right approach, you will understand how to make popular factual pieces that inform people about what’s going on the world, without compromising public service values.

Who it's for

  • Journalists, editors
  • News producers
  • TV, radio and digital producers

Skills learnt

  • Audience: Learn what topics and approaches resonate with audiences on social media
  • Editorial: Identify factual content that work on social media
  • Mobile: Understand the limits and possibilities of content being watched on a small screen
  • Social: Format factual content for social platforms

Course objectives

  • The best examples of what broadcasters and news organisations are doing in this area
  • What we can learn from the flourishing ‘amateur’ world of explainers on YouTube and other platforms
  • Where to decide what ideas will resonate on social media
  • How to use humour, argument and opinion to add flavour to your videos
  • The importance of the ‘sell’ - the thumbnail, title, description and first 10 seconds
  • How do pacing, subtitles and pictures work differently when media is playing silently on the small screen of a mobile device
  • How to decide what topics will work well on social media
  • How to entice people by using popular subjects (sport, TV programmes etc.) as ways to explain important topics
  • How to take ‘dry’ or difficult topics and find ways to introduce them 
  • The psychology of sharing - why do people share some videos but not others?


Day 1: from 13:00 - 17:30
Day 2: from 09:00 - 16:00

Content outline


  • Module 1:  The new environment - what to bear in mind when videos are hosted on social platforms and accessed on a mobile phone: pacing, subtitles, the psychology of sharing
  • Module 2: The ‘sell’ - thumbnails, titles, introduction and opening 10 seconds
  • Module 3:  Personality, humour & opinion - ways to add ‘flavour’ to explainers


  • Module 4: What we can learn from the ‘amateurs’ - looking at explainers on YouTube. How to choose socially-friendly topics. The mistakes TV producers make
  • Module 5 & 6: Practical exercise - using what we’ve learnt on the course, individuals or groups script an explainer, afterwards comparing notes with other participants

Equipment needed

As there is a practical element involved feel free to bring laptops with editing software, smart phones and so on. However there is no requirement to - the exercise can work well even if it’s only on paper.



Audience Editorial Mobile Social


28 févr. - 01 mars 2019


EBU Headquarters
L'Ancienne-Route 17A
Le Grand-Saconnex, Geneva

Date limite d'inscription

26 févr. 2019

Détails concernant l'inscription


  • 1st participant: EUR 750
  • 2nd participant from same company (25% discount): EUR 562.50
  • Additional participants from same company (50% discount): EUR 375 per person

The price includes tuition, course materials and coffee breaks. It does not include meals, travel or hotel costs. 

Payment and cancellation policy


EBU Academy does not make hotel reservations. However, we have negotiated competitive rates with some of the hotels near the venue and the city centre. Please contact the hotel of your choice directly. 

Hotels offering special rates for the EBU/Eurovision (pdf)

Langues de travail


Information Complémentaires

NEXT DATES: 14 & 15 May


Hélène Rauby-Matta
Responsable Développement - Formation des Membres
+41 22 717 24 21

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