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How Young People Consume News and The Implications For Mainstream Media

A report by Flamingo commissioned by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University: “Younger audiences are different from older groups not just in what they do, but in their core attitudes in terms of what they want from the news. Young people are primarily driven by progress and enjoyment in their lives, and this translates into what they look for in news. They still need and want news to connect their world to the world – and fulfil an array of different social and personal needs – but they don’t necessarily see the traditional media as the best or only way to do that. News media is now competing for attention with myriad other distractions, and there is a high level of ‘background’ or ‘indirect’ exposure to news (through social media, other online conversations, documentaries and TV shows, etc.). They don’t need to seek it out, news comes to them. Finally, much of the excitement and gravitas for younger people is on the periphery of the news space (infotainment, lifestyle, cultural, grassroots, bloggers and vloggers).

All this means there is a disconnect; traditional news media no longer seems as relevant or as dominant when it comes to news content. In a simplified way, how news brands and young people view the role and value of news is different: —Traditional news brands see news as: what you should know.—Young audiences see news as: what you should know (to an extent), but also what is useful to know, what is interesting to know, and what is fun to know.And the role of news for young people appears primarily individualistic; it’s about what it can do for them as individuals – rather than for society as a whole. While it’s true that the industry is moving towards producing more content of this kind, most traditional news brands are still not associated with being useful, interesting or fun…”

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