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News Usage of Young Onliners in International Comparison

News Usage of Young Onliners in International Comparison

How do millennials consume news? How do they inform themselves? What content do they prefer? The “die medienanstalten“, an umbrella brand of the 14 state media authorities in Germany, addresses these questions in its current Content Report 2017. The report assembles contributions of authors from research and practice who provide clear theses and versatile answers. The whole report is available for download (free of charge).

Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink and Dr. Sascha Hölig contributed an article on news usage of young onliners. Based on the Reuters Insitute Digital News Survey 2017, the article examines the news-oriented patterns of use and behaviour of 18-24 year-old online users in eleven European countries and the USA. The data shows that 18-24-year-old online users are not as interested in the "news" genre as older user groups because of the specific information needs in this phase of life. However, the vast majority still read, watch or listen to news regularly. The thematic interests of young users, however, are more complex than those of the population as a whole. Although large parts of younger people still use linear television programming regularly as a source, news use on the Internet is more widespread. More and more young onliners in Germany consider the Internet to be the most important way to access news. Almost one in two of them uses social media as a source of news. This share is relatively low compared to other countries. It is striking that social media are part of the news repertoire for most users but they are only one component among many. Only a few use them as the main or even the only source of news. Moreover, only a minority of onlines actively participate in news coverage. In addition, it becomes clear that users who see themselves being on the left or on the right of the political spectrum participate much more actively than the political centre. On the one hand, this contribution shows that debates and comments in social media should not be interpreted as a reduced image of society as a whole. On the other hand, it can be seen that young users also want to inform themselves about news in traditional ways and do not want to share, liken and comment on it all the time.
Hölig, Sascha; Hasebrink, Uwe (2018): Vielseitig interessiert und informiert, aber doch lieber passiv. Zur Nachrichtennutzung junger Onliner im internationalen Vergleich [Wide Range of Interests and Information, But Rather Passive. On the News Consumption of Young Online Users in International Comparison]. In: die medienanstalten (ed.): Content-Bericht 2017. Forschung, Fakten, Trends [Content Report 2017. Research, Facts, Trends]. Leipzig: Vistas, pp. 130-151.

Picture: Caleb Minear



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