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New Study debunks Millennials as “Newsless”, “Disengaged”

Young people want the news, but they want to get it their way.

Rick Edmonds, media business analyst for the Poynter Institute, has done us all a great service — especially anyone responsible for communicating with Millennials — by summarizing a new study on what works, and what doesn’t, with that generation

The research was conducted by the American Press Institute, Associated Press and NORC center at the University of Chicago.

Key finding: “Millennials tend to consume news episodically through the day as they check their smart phones as opposed to sustained sessions like older readers.”

Mr. Edmonds points out that “the social and search companies are not themselves news producers but rather ‘gateways’ for high-quality, branded content.”

Also encouraging for news content providers:

“Sixty-nine percent [of respondents] check news at least once a day, and 49 percent do so several times a day. Forty percent pay for some form of news and 57 percent said they follow at least four hard news topics.” (Down note?: “News is their third top digital activity after e-mail and check of weather and traffic.”)

Focus group discussions within the research generated comments supportive of efforts such as Huffington Post’s new What’s Working? Platform, and, indeed our Business In Society reporting: “There were complaints about the negative frame of many stories, a sense that good news, like a falling crime rate, did not get equal attention.”

Valuable guidance for new organizations and those of us supplying potential content.