ABC News to launch on-campus bureaus

LOS ANGELES Wed May 7, 2008 5:04pm EDT

LOS ANGELES May 7 (Reuters) - ABC News, looking to bolster its connection with younger viewers, plans to open bureaus this autumn on the campuses of five universities across the United States, the network said on Wednesday.

While offering on-the-job training to aspiring journalists, ABC News said it would gain greater insights into the lives of the 33 million U.S. 18-to-25-year-olds -- a demographic every major network news division is striving hard to reach.

"These college digital bureaus will extend the news-gathering reach of ABC News throughout the country," ABC News President David Westin said in a statement on Wednesday.

Students will report on local stories in multimedia news bureaus encompassing online and broadcast technology. Their work will be used on various ABC News outlets, including the television shows "Good Morning America," "World News with Charles Gibson" and "Nightline," ABC News Radio and ABCNEWS.com.

Students selected as bureau chiefs will receive on-site training at ABC News headquarters in New York, the network said.

The initiative will be launched in journalism schools at Arizona State University, Syracuse University, University of Florida, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and University of Texas at Austin.

ABC is a unit of the Walt Disney Co. (DIS.N)

(Reporting by Syantani Chatterjee; Editing by Steve Gorman)

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