Here Now The News: From Facebook?
How Do Millennials Get Their News? It depends on what they define as news. News has different meanings to all of us. World/national/politics is certainly news. But so is sports, weather, fashion, culture. There are endless sources, digital and analog, to get a news fix. Millennials know this well.
Millennials do not necessarily rely on traditional sources like Network TV, Newspapers, Radio. That doesn’t mean that Millennials are uniformed and have no clue about what’s going on around them.
In fact according to a survey from the Media Insight Project, (a joint effort from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute) conducted in January, Millennials are still very interested in the news. In the survey 38% of those 18-34 interviewed said keeping up with the news is extremely/very important and another 47% said it was somewhat important so 85% have some appetite for news. But where do they get news?
The #1 source of news is Facebook.
Overall, 88% of Millennials surveyed said that they get news from Facebook regularly, with a little over half getting news from Facebook daily. Interestingly less than ½ say that getting news is a primary motivation for visiting Facebook. So despite its inherent superficiality, Facebook may be helping raise awareness and interest in current events. So take that, Facebook haters.
For many Facebook is merely the starting point for consumption of news. 86% of Millennials in the survey said they usually see a range of opinions on social media, and roughly 3/4 said social media prompts them to investigate opinions held by other people at least some of the time.
They then largely turn to other channels—primarily online search for more follow-up on topics of interest. Anyone with a tablet or smartphone in hand is one’s own news curator. So while some Boomers may whine that today’s youth don’t read the newspaper every day “like we did”, remember the daily newspaper was, in its heyday, merely yesterday’s news delivered today, albeit done with depth and analysis.
Facebook may not be the New York Times (and doesn’t purport to be), but it is the starting point for knowledge for many of today’s Millennials. Where they go from there is always up to the individual.