Survey finds young people follow news, but without much joy – NECN ThePipaNews

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Young people follow the news but are not very happy with what they see.

By and large, that’s the conclusion of a study released Wednesday showing that 79% of young Americans say they get news daily. The survey of young people ages 16 to 40 — the older ones are known as millennials and the younger Generation Z — was conducted by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute.

The report pokes holes in the idea that young people are not interested in news, a perception largely driven by statistics showing older audiences for television news and newspapers.

“They’re more engaged in more ways than people give them credit for,” said Michael Bolden, president and executive director of the American Press Institute.

An estimated 71% of this age group receives news daily from social media. The diet on social media is becoming more varied; Facebook doesn’t dominate like it used to. About a third or more get news every day from YouTube and Instagram, and about a quarter or more from TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter. Now 40% say they get news from Facebook daily, compared to 57% of millennials who said so in a 2015 Media Insight Project survey.

Still, 45% said they get news every day from traditional sources, such as television or radio stations, newspapers and news websites.

The survey found that about a quarter of young people say they regularly pay for at least one news product, such as print or digital newspapers or magazines, and a similar percentage have donated to at least one nonprofit news organization.

Only 32% say they enjoy following the news. That’s down significantly from seven years ago, when 53% of millennials said so. Fewer young people now say they enjoy talking to family and friends about the news.

Other findings, such as people saying they feel worse the longer they spend online or who set time limits on their consumption, point to a fatigue with the news, said Tom Rosenstiel, a professor of journalism at the University of Maryland.

“I wasn’t surprised by that,” Bolden said. “It’s been a challenging news cycle, especially the last three years.”

About 9 in 10 young people say misinformation about issues and events is a problem, including about 6 in 10 who say it’s a big problem. Most say that they themselves have been exposed to misinformation.

When asked who they consider to be most responsible for the spread, young people pointed to social media companies and users, politicians and the media to an equal extent.

That might surprise people in the media who think they’re fighting misinformation and aren’t part of the problem, Bolden said. A significant number of people disagree.

“Whether it’s accurate or not, the people in this industry have to deal with that perception,” he said.

He suggested it’s important for news organizations to better explain what it is they do and how coverage decisions are made, along with taking a step back to clarify how government works and holding leaders accountable.

With so much misinformation being spread online, it can be hard to know what to trust. Daniel Funke, a reporter for PolitiFact, joined LX News to share some tips to avoid accidentally spreading fake news.

The number of people who say “news that mostly seems to create conflict rather than help address it” and “media that spreads conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated rumors” are a big problem exceeded the number of people who are concerned that journalists are putting too much opinion. in their stories, the survey found.

It seems to point the finger at cable news channels that fill airtime with debates on particular issues, often pitting people with extreme views. New CNN chief Chris Licht recently urged his network to cool the overheated segments.

“There are people who have grown up in this world of political food fight media, and this is the only world they know,” said Rosenstiel, who worked on the survey as Bolden’s predecessor at the Press Institute. “They may have heard their parents talk about Walter Cronkite, but they haven’t seen it.”

What topics do people aged 16 to 40 say they follow most in the news? Celebrities, music and entertainment, with 49%, and food and cooking, with 48%, top the list. At least a third follow a wide range of other issues, including health and fitness, race and social justice, the environment, health care, education, politics and sports.


The AP-NORC survey of 5,975 Americans ages 16-40 was conducted May 18-June 8, using a combined sample of interviews from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population, and interviews from opt- in online panels. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 1.7 percentage points. The AmeriSpeak panel is randomly recruited using address-based sampling methods, and respondents are later interviewed online or by telephone.

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