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Jesse Andrushko is the first ever social media editor for APTN News, a longtime client of Media Profile. Jesse first started at APTN News as an intern and saw an opportunity to expand the message and reach of APTN online. After a successful internship, he was quickly hired by the APTN News web team, and has transformed the way APTN News reaches its audiences across Canada.

Jesse has expanded the reach of APTN News to YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, along with increasing livestream coverage of local and national events.

Here, he tells us about the importance of creating generational change and reaching new audiences with Indigenous stories.

National Indigenous History graphic

Media Profile: Tell us a bit about what you’ve brought to APTN News in terms of reaching new audiences.

Jesse Andrushko: When I started my role at APTN News, my first goal was to expand our reach online, including posting to YouTube and Instagram. We’ve since received tens of thousands of followers on those accounts, showing our content in a new way.

Another initiative was livestreams. I was tasked with pushing our weekly call-in show ‘InFocus’ to our Facebook page. Working with APTN’s broadcast techs, we were able to make it happen. Now we bring multiple broadcasts to social media per day, from small community announcements, to national news conferences. Another initiative I organized was podcasts for our current affairs shows. Podcasts are a great way to allow those in remote communities without reliable internet to more easily access APTN content. We’ve also expanded our show promotions to include more clips and shareable social boards.

MP: Why do you think it’s important for APTN News to reach younger audiences?

JA: It’s important for APTN News to reach younger audiences because they are the ones who will affect change in this world. I believe sharing First Nations, Inuit and Métis stories from coast to coast to coast can bring Indigenous Peoples together and that showing positive stories can inspire and educate youth.

My goal is not only to share the stories with our own people, but to share it with non-Indigenous youth and adults. The key to change is education – people aren’t going to want change if they don’t know what issues are actually out there. Having social media allows us to expand our voice exponentially to those who aren’t familiar with APTN News.

MP: Why do you think it’s important to share Indigenous stories?

JA: A big reason I wanted to join APTN News was because the organization is different. We cover the stories that other media outlets don’t usually care about and because of that, we have the opportunity to make actual change in society – and we do. Many stories from our reporters and video journalists make an impact, whether big or small.

It’s important for APTN News to share Indigenous stories because they are often swept under the rug. Indigenous peoples are bunched together, presented as a monolith to the viewers. We strive to show how distinctive communities are across the country, sharing stories that are unique to them, along with stories we all share together. Our team shares a special connection to Indigenous communities, either because of where they were raised, or because of the time they spent sharing their stories. We offer a view that is different to other networks because of those connections we have.

MP: What are your favourite types of stories to work on? 

JA: My favourite types of stories to promote are the ones that focus on something I am not very familiar with. It gives me the ability to learn and present the story to our audience in a way that can help others who aren’t familiar with the subject to understand as well.

When working with most stories, I try to look at it through the eyes of someone who is unknowledgeable and, really, someone who might not care. I try to present our stories in a way that will make sense to non-Indigenous people who might not be educated on issues facing Indigenous peoples, along with the achievements First Nations, Inuit and Métis people have made.

I have a background in multimedia, so I also like working on stories that have lots of media content – it gives me more opportunities to share those stories on different platforms in ways that will appeal to a larger audience.

Thank you, Jesse, for your insights and for the great work you and the whole APTN team are doing.

Jesse Andrushko,
Social Media Editor, APTN News

Media Profile has pledged to deepen our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and use our platform to create meaningful change. One of our initiatives is the active amplification of BIPOC and LGBTQ2S voices on our blog, Our Take. Throughout the year, we’ll feature guest bloggers from these communities sharing their insights and experiences on topics relevant to the public relations and communications industry. As a thank you for their time, Media Profile will make a donation to a charity of the guest blogger’s choice.
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