Over the last 15 years, the way readers get their news has changed significantly.
While the traditional print newspaper remains an important component of news consumption, there have been some assumptions made as the younger generation, those raised on smart phones and wifi access, begin to be consumers of the news.
One of the key assumptions is that Millennials are eschewing newspapers all together and turning to online aggregators to get their news. Ignoring the fact that many of the aggregators are using newspaper content, the Newspaper Association of America has recently released the results of a study that debunks even the base assumption that Millennials have turned their backs on newspapers.
In fact, even though they may be accessing news content in new, digitally enhanced ways, a majority of young adults say they still want their daily newspaper as part of their lives.
“This study is exciting because it debunks some myths that the newspaper industry itself has allowed to fester,” said Grundy County Herald publisher Joy Caldwell. “The fact of the matter is that newspapers have done a poor job of telling our own story, instead conceding that ground to television and internet media outlets that are in direct competition with newspapers. The truth is community newspapers on the whole remain strong and a valuable tool for both advertisers and readers who want to stay informed. Some big newspapers have had to change their model and every newspaper worth its salt is examining its place in the world. But newspapers still offer information that can’t be found anywhere else. They still serve a vital role in their community, and the mobile age isn’t changing that.
“In fact, the NAA study shows that as newspapers develop content for the Web and mobile devices, Millennials are finding it, reading it and sharing it with their friends.”
One of the key results revealed in the NAA graphic is that 72 percent of Millennials prefer to be the source of information among their peers rather than hearing about news from a friend. The NAA shows that across all newspaper platforms, 40 million Millennials still get news and information from a newspaper on at least a weekly basis.
“This is a changing time and newspapers have been too passive in allowing others to craft an inaccurate picture that leaves us behind those times,” Caldwell said. “The truth, and it’s backed up by not only the NAA but a myriad of fact-checkers, is that the majority of Millennials want their newspaper content and advertising. In addition, they trust the newspaper to deliver that content accurately and ethically.”