Millennials Still Consume News, Just In Different Ways Than Older Generations

How and if Millennials consume news has been a hot topic in recent months, especially following a study on this subject from Paula Poindexter, a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She recently released a book titled Millennials, News, and Social Media: Is News Engagement a Thing of the Past?, in which she boldly declares that young people do not make it a priority to stay informed because they feel that the media talks down to them, comes off as propaganda, or is just plain boring. This definitely isn't the mindset of the Millennials we know and has left many members of Gen Y frustrated. This prompted Bryan, one of our Youth Advisory Board members, to write a rebuttal discussing the changing ways in which his generation consumes news.

Millennials Still Consume News, Just In Different Ways Than Older Generations

TwitterMillennials are often criticized for not consuming news, being uninformed, and lazy. However, I don't think these harsh statements, many of which were discussed in Paula Poindexter's study, accurately reflect my generation nor address the changing ways in which young people consume news.

Her research briefly touches on, but fails to really explore, the idea that Millennials are still getting news. It’s just not in a “traditional” format since youth typically get their news from smartphones, the Internet, and TV. However, to me, this seems like youth are getting news from mediums they use most frequently, rather than saying young people aren’t interested in news at all because we don’t buy the paper or sit down for the 5 o’clock news every day (who has time for that, by the way?)

Touching on the idea that young people dislike traditional news because of “garbage, lies, one-sided, propaganda…” is the emergence of sites like Reddit, where articles…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "My favorite place to shop online is Sephora, because I love high end makeup and I love reading about what's new and watching tutorials on how it works.” –Female, 26, MA

We’ve seen everyone from food startups to fast-food chains label their food “artisanal” to appeal to Millennials—and there is good reason. It turns out there is generation gap when it comes to consumers’ reaction to “artisanal” and “craft.”  Millennials are more likely than older consumers to say that the labels “handmade/handcrafted, “craft,” and “small batch” tell them a product is high quality, and also more likely to say that descriptors like “artisan/artisanal” have some influence on their purchases. (MediaPost)

To sell wine to Millennials, brands have had to drop the exclusivity and embrace a more unpretentious attitude. Sparkling wine brand Chandon is relying on Instagram to get their bubbly message across to young females, making it their top social platform, over Pinterest. Their colorful, summertime images, featuring captions like “Today calls for Rosé,” are a part of their effort to get sparkling wine “out of the holiday rut.” (Digiday)

Older generations who hear about anonymous apps like Whisper and YikYak why have one main question: why? Question and answer site Ask.fm’s recent study asked them, and found that 40% of 13-18-year-olds said anonymity online allows them to talk about difficult topics—only 4% said they would talk about the same things if their name was being used. (IBT)

New parents will do just about anything to get their kid(s) to go to sleep, as one self-published book is proving. The picture book The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep made the Amazon bestseller list by claiming to put children straight to sleep. Sales skyrocketed quickly, going from selling just 324 copies on August 16th, to 29,000 at the end of last week. It’s rumored that Random House has bought the rights to the miracle book. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Restoration Hardware is going after the teens “who ha[ve] everything.” Their new high-end post-childhood line RH Teen includes chandeliers, and fine art photography, and the brand hopes to capture young consumers as they are finding their own identity and becoming independent as decorators of their space. Unlike some brands, who are co-creating their products and marketing with young consumers, Restoration chose to launch RH Teen without focus groups or studies. (WSJ)

According to Pew, a third of Millennials frequently use their phones in public for “no particular reason,” and 13% say they frequently use their mobile devices to avoid interacting with other people. (Queue the “anti-social Millennial” pieces.) But another study might shed some more light on their “for no reason” phone use: 60% believe their smartphones enhances their leisure time. The research hypothesizes that young consumers are using phones for moments of “micro-leisure” throughout the day. (Washington PostSocialTimes)

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