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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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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