Hi. My name is Anastasia and I’m a Millennial.
Unless you thought I was much older– or younger– than the 22-year-old that I am, you probably already knew this.
Since I am the subject of many studies done recently about Millennials and how they consume news, the results don’t really surprise me because the results describe me, my peers and my friends.
A report released by the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research discussed Millennials and how this generation consumes news.
There was worry that millennials– adults between the ages of 18 and 34– “do not visit news sites, read print newspapers, watch television news, or seek out news in great numbers” the introduction reads. Getting past the insulting tone of that statement, the American Press Institute doesn’t have much faith in us. And this is just in the introduction. The intro goes on to say that the worry is that “Millennials’ awareness of the world, as a result, is narrow, their discovery of events is incidental and passive, and that news is just one of many random elements in a social feed.”
Those are fighting words. But API saves itself and says that we are actually anything but without knowledge of the news, passive or uninterested in what’s going on in the world.
Turns out, Millennials consume news frequently and place value in keeping up with the news. This generation consumes its news in new ways– through social media or friends– opposed to how older generations reading a paper newspaper every morning or watching the evening news. The older Millennials tend to actively seek out the news, whereas younger Millennials let the news find them in a more passive manner, though the report stated that almost everyone in the generation uses a mixture of manners to find news.
You’re preaching to the choir, American Press Institute.
When Millennials want to learn more about a topic more, 57 percent rely on search engines and cite this method as being the most helpful. This isn’t news to me because I Google everything and an article written in January of this year told us just that: search engines have become more trusted as a source for general news and information opposed to traditional media.
Now I could’ve told you that I trust search engines and the results they provide me more than a single article I read from News Source XYZ because I believe that I can find a better range of information on a subject by reading many articles written by many different sources than just one. I don’t go to one news source over another whereas my grandparents have a primary news source– I don’t. Google News aggregates news for me and doesn’t give me a one-sided view of the world.
API’s report also said that only 2 out of 10 Millennials worry about privacy but 86 percent have changed something about their online behavior and presence to limit what others see. Y’all already know how I feel about privacy (chocolate is worth more than privacy) but I, too, think about what I say and put out there for privacy purposes. If my privacy was taken away and y’all could see the nearly 4,000 pictures on my phone and every text I’ve sent, I’d probably think about privacy a little differently.
But I’m glad that this study was done and that the worry that Millennials have a narrow awareness of the world, passively encounter news and that it just happens to show up on our social media feeds. Just because we consume news differently than the traditional way doesn’t make us less informed or care any less about what’s happening.
I’ll put my fighting fists down for now American Press Institute, the results of your study saved you.