Sunday, July 22, 2007

Why Generation X/Y Doesn't Read the Newspaper

I just read two interesting posts on local blogs (Click on "My Tucson" and "Moms") about if and how the "18-to-30 year old segment" of the population obtains news. Both authors are, presumably, in their 40's or 50's with adult children of their own. Both observe that their own children rarely read the newspaper and are only mildly intrigued by other news sources (TV, online, radio, news magazines, etc.). Both wonder aloud, and rightly so, about the "future of our country."

I am 25. So I started thinking about (a) why I don't have a subscription to any of the local newspapers (and what would make me change my mind) and (b) where I obtain my news and if it is a sufficient/adequate enough source.

Contrary to the authors' assumptions, current events, politics, and news items are extremely important to me. I want to know the hot topics and the critical issues in my local and global community.

But I don't necessarily go to the newspaper to obtain that information. Here's why:
1. Newspapers cost money - and I can get my news for free on their corresponding website.
2. Newspapers don't offer any interactive components - I want to be able to post a comment, to respond, to send a link to someone.
3. Newspapers, by and large, are still geared to baby boomers.

I'll write more tomorrow on my thoughts about if newspapers can be saved and how they can pitch their campaign to the coveted Gen X/Y audience.

In the meantime, check out these articles:
* Newspapers Should Really Worry (Wired, 11-24-04)
* Young Adults Are Giving Newspapers Scant Notice (The New York Times, 7-16-07)
* A Bright Future for Newspapers (American Journalism Review, June/July 05)

1 comment:

Renee Schafer Horton said...

Hey Stephanie:
I've been out of country, so didn't see your comment on my TC post about the Gen X/Y folks not reading papers until now - so I hope you see this comment.
First, your blog is really well written. Second, I agree that many will get their news online. But what I see from talking with young people is that MOST people your age are woefuly uninformed. They aren't reading newspapers or news on line. They aren't doing anything save hanging out on YouTube and MySpace. Seriously. You are sadly, the exception to the rule. And my kids, a little younger than you, are all really bright --- but they say they avoid the news because it is depressing, and it takes time. They'd much rather glance at the Daily Show ... they want entertainment with their news. And they are not alone. I ask every person I meet every day from teh coffee cart girl to the kid taking tickets at the movie theater, if they read the news or watch TV news. In the past two days, out of 6 people, one person said he did. That's why I'm afraid for the democracy... young women don't remember or care about women's rights, so they don't fear them being removed (I'm not talking abortion, but things like job sharing, maternity leave, etc.); many young people don't "get" that our civil liberties are bieng taken by this current administration. And if they DO get it, they don't seem to want to march in the streets or fight it in anyway. My regular blog is at and I'd love for you to visit.