Make news more relevant to the young, media urged
Make news more relevant to the young, media urged
To younger audiences, reading or listening to the news feels more like a chore, according to a study on news consumers in the US and UK. The report makes some recommendations.

MANILA, Philippines – A report commissioned by the Reuters Institute and authored by Flamingo showed a disconnect between what traditional news media offer and what younger audiences want from the news.

The report, “How young people consume news and the implications for mainstream media,” spoke to news consumers in the US and UK regarding how they felt about the news today. They were split into 4 age brackets, across the 18-20, 21-24, 25-30, and 31-35 ranges.

The report said younger audiences have a different attitude in terms of what they want from the news.

While younger audiences do still want to get news, they do not see the news media as the only way to achieve that, as they can get their information in a variety of other ways. News media, thus, are currently battling other sources of information and entertainment as a means of providing the news to younger audiences. 

The report outlined differences in the relationships young people have with the news, dependent on 3 key areas: the moment, the person and the medium.

It also determined there were 4 types of news consumers, dependent on how they engage with primary and secondary sources of news: the Heritage News Consumers, the Dedicated News Devotees, Passive News Absorbers, and Proactive News Lovers.

The report also looked at how various media worked, detailing the pros and cons of a number of platorms – including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and podcasts.– as well as how they are used by news consumers.

The report also had an overarching finding in which reading or listening to the news felt like a chore. It is hoped that by making the news more enjoyable to consume and better tailored to how younger users get their news that it can get more people consuming the news.

What do they want?

Additionally, the report suggests treatment, or how news organizations cover stories, may need to change.

While younger users don’t want the media to shy away from serious or difficult stories, they would also like to see inspiring stories or stories that allow for positive action. Young news consumers also respond to news with personal utility or that helps with their development, and consume stories with a ‘point of view’ that is informed by facts.

Matthew Taylor, the report lead for Flamingo, said, “Overall, young people would like traditional media to be more accessible, more varied and more entertaining but they are clear that they don’t want news to be dumbed down or sensationalized; traditional brands have an authority grounded in heritage and should remain true to that.”

Taylor also said, “This will be a difficult balance to strike but there are a number of emerging examples – from brands like the Guardian and Vox – of podcasts or interactive explainers that are moving in this direction.”

The full report is available for download here. –

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