Study Finds Young Adults Not Following the News

Posted on July 16, 2007

The New York Times reports that a new study has found that today's teens and young adults are not keeping up with the news.
In fact, most teenagers and adults 30 and younger are not following the news closely at all, the report, titled "Young People and News," concluded. It is based on a national sample of 1,800 Americans that included teenagers, young adults aged 18 to 30 and older adults.

Thomas Patterson, a professor of government and the press at Harvard who conducted the survey, said that young people today do not make an appointment with news every day the way older adults do.

"We found that most young adults don't have an ingrained news habit," he said. "Most children today, when watching television, are not watching the same TV set that their parents are watching. So even if their parents are watching the news every day, the children are likely to be in another room watching something else and aren't acquiring the news habit."

The survey went a step further to see what the respondents meant when they said that they did pay attention to the news. Those results, especially among the younger groups, were equally discouraging for the news industry, said Alex S. Jones, the director of the Shorenstein Center.
According to the study television is the place that teens, young adults and older adults said they first hear about news stories. Internet was ranked higher as the first source of news for teens and young adults. 28% of teens said their first news source was "another person." This came pretty close to television which came in at 41% for teens.