Parents, Not Peers, Lead Young People to Newspapers

Parents, Not Peers, Lead Young People to Newspapers

A new study from the World Newspaper Congress on the media habits of young people in three countries found that television continues to be their most important source of news and information for the young, despite the rise of the internet. 3,500 people between 15 and 29 years old in the United States, the Netherlands and Finland said they get their news and information from a wide variety of sources, but that television continues to be their preferred medium.

Robert Barnard, Partner and Founder of Canada-based DECODE, observes that "Young people do not seem to understand the inherent value and difference in newspaper content versus other news media. TV still dominates even in perceptions of credibility and depth of coverage."

Nevertheless, the study showed that newspaper companies are well placed to attract young readers if newspapers are committed to the task. The study, to help publishers better understand and meet the needs of younger readers, found:

  • Young people are interested in news and see the value of being informed
  • Loyal newspaper readers are more informed, engaged and connected to community than non-readers
  • Parents (especially mothers) and teachers have successfully influenced young people to become newspaper readers; peers are not influential
  • Newspapers must  start earlier to establish how news emanating from newspapers is different from and superior to other media options.
  • The study shows a significant drop in readership among young people leaving home at this life-stage, at a time when interest in news is peaking
  • Newspaper editorial content, in general, is disconnected from youth interests, and when it is about youth, it is mostly negative, says the report. Music and film top the list of interests while politics ranked in the lower than 30th
  • Social network users are more supportive of all media generally, but show a higher increase of support for newspapers than non users

For additional information, please visit DECODE (the survey conductor) here, or WAN, the sponsor, here.



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