The internet hits us with an information avalanche every day. We truly live in the Information Age, but that means we live with misinformation also. Making sure that you get reliable news has become trickier — first, you have to decide where you find your news in the first place.
How We Get Our News Has Changed with Our Technology
Through our Refresh the Press series, we examine how people consume news in the 21st century. For younger people, that news consumption has evolved with the gadgets they use. And the group has usually consumed less news than their parents and grandparents.
Their viewership first meant reliance on cable news, which Harvard’s Shorenstein Center documented back in 2007. But by 2016, television had lost its place as the primary news source, according to the Pew Research Center. Its 2016 report on young adults’ news consumption found that, while their interest remained low, they looked online more often. Specifically, for adults ages 18-29:
- 32% get their news from news websites and apps
- 34% get their news from social media
More recently, a 2019 Reuters Institute survey highlighted what we all know to be the case today: younger readers and viewers get news mostly through smartphones. The exact breakdown also shows continuation of the social media trends:
- 57% of people aged 18-24 go to social media first thing in the morning
- 43% of people aged 25-34 receive their news through social media
- 48% of people aged 18-24 use Facebook for their news, compared to 24% who use Instagram
- 52% of people aged 25-34 use Facebook for their news, compared to only 17% who use Instagram
These successive studies demonstrate a few things we all could’ve guessed: technology now dominates tradition news consumption, smartphones dominate younger people’s news consumption and social media has carved out its place as a psuedo-news hub.
So what? Why did we walk through a quick sketch of 21st-century news consumption?
We Want to Know How You Find Your News
We’ve designed a short survey for our own audience. The ways we try to reach our readers with legal, health and business coverage needs to change when our readers’ preferences change. So we need your insights and opinions.
Complete our survey when you can, so that we can learn the best ways to reach you going forward!
And once you have, jump into our Refresh the Press series for in-depth looks into how we receive, understand and view the news media today!