Thursday, February 26, 2009

News and Young People

Today Pew released a study that spells bad news for newspapers. The survey question asked if respondents read the news 'yesterday.' Overall news consumption is down to 39 percent from 2006, when it was 43 percent, but among those the numbers of online newspapers increased from 9 to 14 percent. Interestingly enough, they didn't bother to check demographics like income or race, but instead stuck just with age/generational groups. It turns out my generation, the Millennial generation/Generation Y, is overall the generation that is least likely to consume news. But our consumption of online news is about on par with Gen X, the highest consumer of online news. Take a look at this graph on the left.

I wonder if Pew also took more social networking into consideration. Some young people may consume news more passively as they use other social media. Sometimes they only read articles their friends post to Facebook or link to on their Twitter feed. But, even though social networking is all the rage, if this is true, I would still guess the trend would be limited to a very small and privileged class of young people.

1 comment:

Rob Pitingolo said...

Pew's occasional "News IQ" surveys typically come to a similar conclusion: that GenY is least able to answer basic questions about what is going on in the news. Assuming a positive correlation between news consumption and the ability to answer basic questions about the news, I would suspect that you are on to something regarding social media and passive news consumption.

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