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Special Project

Special Project
From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Need to Know by MTV News

Entered in Video Series


Award-winning journalists Dometi Pongo and Yoonj Kim are the faces of Need To Know, MTV News’ flagship video franchise providing real-time news stories and analysis. With Dometi and Yoonj’s unique perspectives, Need To Know covers what matters most to our audience, from pop culture to nationwide protests, while providing in-depth analyses.

Strategy and Execution

Need To Know’s strategy hinges on listening to our viewers. At the beginning of 2020, the MTV News audience loved fresh takes on the biggest pop culture stories, along with our in-studio live panels and on the ground news coverage. But as the United States was struck hard by COVID-19, followed by a youth-led charge against systemic racism, and ongoing natural disasters, Need To Know pivoted to taping episodes from home and shifted tactics. During this time, instead of focusing on pop culture, the series provided vital information on health and safety during the pandemic, as well as tackling stories pertaining to voting and the steps to take in order to change policies most crucial to young people.

Need To Know chooses stories that either everyone is talking about or that everyone should be talking about. Our crew writes, shoots, edits, and posts each episode in a matter of hours, executed to maintain peak relevancy


Need To Know records and publishes every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday to MTV News’ Twitter (5.2 M), Instagram (940 K), and Facebook (3.9 M). Since December 2018, Need To Know has produced 652 episodes and amassed more than 11M views. Executing a remote version of the show has resulted in Need To Know’s numbers skyrocketing. Our year-over-year growth (views) from April–July is 115.9 percent. In June 2020, our content amassed 1,057,355 views across all platforms, making it our most successful month this year and our fourth most successful month overall.


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