Teens prefer online news over print

In a 2008 survey of 15-29 year olds, the Newspaper Association of America found that between both paid newspapers and free newspapers, only 31 percent of young people get their news and information through print media.

So, the question is: if teenagers are not reading newspapers, where are they getting their news?

A 2009 PewInternet study, showing that Internet is a popular news source for teens.

A 2009 Pew Internet study, showing that Internet is a popular news source for teens.

The Pew Research Center tried to answer this very question in a 2009 study. They found that 62 percent of teens, ages 12-17, use online media to “get news about current events and politics online.” The figure to the left shows this statistic and others from the study.

Not only are teens reading news stories online, they are also getting their news through social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Poynter Institute, a journalism think-tank, which offers journalism seminars and workshops, writes that 83 percent of surveyed teens said social networks are their weekly news source.

In addition, 56 percent of teens use social networks daily to catch up on current events. This is almost two times the percentage of teens who read newspapers for their news.

Newspapers, in an effort to draw readers back into reading their news, are now using social media sites to target younger readers. Under their listed services, The Seattle Times website includes social media. The website includes the following explanation for the newspaper’s usage of social media:

“We want to make it easier for readers to share our content using some of these and other social media tools to get our content in front of readers wherever they are and on whatever device they’re using.”

Although print media is not as popular with teenagers as it used to be, newspapers reach that younger demographic through popular social media.

— Kelsey Karnopp

This entry was posted in Broadcast Journalism, Print Media and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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