Enter the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. See categories below. The regular entry deadline is on February 10th, 2022.

From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

CNN Roots: Our Journeys Home

Entered in Multi-Platform Campaign

About this entry

Storytelling is at the core of what CNN does. In a two-week long cross-platform series that launched in October 2014, 13 of the network's most prominent hosts and anchors set out on a journey to find their roots. A project one year in the making, these journalists embarked on an emotional journey across continents as they discovered never-before-known details of their family histories.

Using the latest in DNA analysis and ancestral research, CNN's John Berman, Wolf Blitzer, Kate Bolduan, Anthony Bourdain, Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Don Lemon, Michaela Pereira, Christine Romans, Jake Tapper and Fareed Zakaria unearthed true stories of figures from the near and distant past, stories of mystery, ingenuity, tragedy and triumph.

Across eleven TV shows and on all our digital platforms, CNN used linear television, digital video, photo galleries and social media to bring audiences into every aspect of the journey. Viewers responded: with a cumulative viewership of more than 12.1 million viewers, 11 million combined online page views and video starts, 603 million twitter impressions and more than 37 million Facebook impressions.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

CNN is America's most trusted news organization according to a 2014 Pew Research poll. We cover the world, with more reporters in more places than any television news organization in America. CNN's "Roots" project represented a new direction for the organization, turning many of our best-known journalists into the subjects of their own, deeply personal stories. Would viewers care?

The answer: a resounding yes. Across eleven TV shows and on all our digital platforms, CNN used linear television, digital video, photo galleries and social media to bring audiences into every aspect of the journey. Viewers responded: with a cumulative viewership of more than 12.1 million viewers, 11 million combined online page views and video starts, 603 million twitter impressions and more than 37 million Facebook impressions.

Response on social media was overwhelmingly positive. At the end of the journey, viewers were informed and entertained, of course, but as importantly the cross-platform storytelling left them with a greater connection to our anchors not just as reporters but as fully-dimensional people.

None of this would have been possible had Roots not been conceived from the ground up as a social-forward, visually rich experience. The 13 video packages offered the most concentrated form of each story with the widest reach, but throughout audiences were encouraged go deeper on CNN.com and in CNN's apps, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, primarily around the #CNNRoots hashtag. Anchors shared more of their stories on social, interacting with viewers who were moved by their journeys. Fans were encouraged to put themselves into the story with a "Which CNN anchor are you?" quiz.

On air, online and on social, CNN's Roots project was a first-of-its-kind effort that connected more people in more ways on more platforms with our most public faces as never before.

Entrant Company / Organization Name

CNN

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