There’s nothing exactly newsy in the fact that young people read the paper less than their elders. That information has been around for awhile.
What is news, however, is that it might be a misconception to think young people (those under 25) are getting news from any type of source. If that age group has stopped reading papers, the thought was, they were getting their news from the Web or other sources. Beep- wrong answer.
The Pew report, according to an Editor and Publisher article out today, states that 34 percent of the people surveyed under the age of 25 get no news on any typical day. Ten years ago, in 1998, that number was at 25 percent. While these same people might check a social networking site, such as Facebook, daily, that still isn’t getting any news to them.
“Social networking sites are very popular with young people, but they have not become a major source of news. Just 10% of those with social networking profiles say they
regularly get news from these sites.”
I am in the age group of those under 25 and I am shocked by the results of this survey. One out of three of my friends isn’t getting any news on a regular basis. Great. These are the future leaders of this country and they may or may not know anything about current events.
If this survey asked my generation about pop culture, how much would the answer be different? I bet almost anyone I know can tell you something about Brangelina or what famous comedian just died. They might even know about Michael Phelps, but sports news is different than hard news. You can simply check ESPN.com for that stuff.
It would be great if social networking sites had more news on them. But then again, they are not news networking sites, but social ones. You don’t go onto Facebook to get an update on the Georgia-Russia conflict but to get an update on what Mary did over the weekend.
Either way, it is disconcerting news. I make it a point to be up to date on current events and check local and national news sites numerous times a day. It helps that I am in the news industry. Sadly, I do know people who don’t check the news at all. They are, however, far and few between.
I hope that as my age group gets older, they start checking the news more. It’s not too hard to click to CNN or NYTimes. It’s important to be informed. Hopefully, Gen Y realizes that before it’s too late.