Less than one-quarter of the youth today turn to online or conventional newspapers each day

According to a study at the Jaume I University in Castellón, just under 29% of the population of people aged 16 – 30 read online or conventional newspapers daily. The study also found that three out of every four individuals within this age bracket turn to social networking sites for information, even more so than they go to the television for news.
In the past decade, there has been a large drop-off in readership of printed newspapers, especially among the younger demographics, which is rapidly decreasing. The study shows that almost 75% of those aged 16-30 use social networks to stay informed, a larger number than those even watching news on the television.
If the trends continue, newspapers face not only a lost audience, but also the inability to capture the next generation.
News outlets have turned to the Internet to get the word out, but that also comes at a cost. Even though study participants lived in different cities and had differing levels of education, they overwhelmingly refused to pay to access current news. Only 6.2% said they would be willing to subscribe to a media source. Furthermore, over 76% said they would visit a free website if their site of choice began to charge for content. Overall, only 17.1% said they would discontinue Internet use for news altogether if there were no free means.
These statistics show that even the new business model of offering content online at a charge will need to adapt in order to flourish in the digital age. The aforementioned age group does take an interest in staying informed, however, but the study just helps further the understanding that news is a public service that must always be available for free whenever the reader wants.
As far as gender goes, men lean towards journalistic information more than women. They tend to consult a high number of sources and are more inclined to pay for news content. Women put more value on the importance of being well-informed in order to be good citizens.
The researcher suggests that newspapers find strategies to reconnect with young people. While they are interested in news, they aren’t inclined to use information that doesn’t respond to their needs and interests. It also suggests that journalistic media heavily adopt social network use to reach out to the youth, especially since this is how most of them get their information. Without adapting strategies to meet the consumption habits or news conceptions of young people, journalistic media will see their business models fail in the near future, and will possibly disappear altogether.

Posted in social media, technology Tagged ,

One Comment