Survey finds young people follow news, but without much joy

Aug 30, 2022, 9:24 AM | Updated: Aug 31, 2022, 9:18 pm
FILE - A woman checks her phone in Orem, Utah, on Nov. 14, 2019. A survey of people ages 16 to 40 f...

FILE - A woman checks her phone in Orem, Utah, on Nov. 14, 2019. A survey of people ages 16 to 40 finds that millennials and Generation Z follow the news, but they aren't that happy with what they're seeing. The study conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute says 79% of people follow news daily, contrary to perceptions that many are tuned out. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Young people are following the news but aren’t too happy with what they’re seeing.

Broadly speaking, that’s the conclusion of a study released Wednesday showing 79% of young Americans say they get news daily. The survey of young people ages 16 to 40 — the older of which are known as millennials and the younger Generation Z — was conducted by Media Insight Project, a collaboration between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute.

The report pokes holes in the idea that young people aren’t interested in news, a perception largely driven by statistics showing older audiences for television news and newspapers.

“They are more engaged in more ways than people give them credit for,” said Michael Bolden, CEO and executive director of the American Press Institute.

An estimated 71% of this age group gets news daily from social media. The social media diet is becoming more varied; Facebook doesn’t dominate the way it used to. About a third or more get news each day from YouTube and Instagram, and about a quarter or more from TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter. Now, 40% say they get news from Facebook daily, compared with 57% of millennials who said that in a 2015 Media Insight Project survey.

Yet 45% also said they get news each day from traditional sources, like television or radio stations, newspapers and news websites.

The poll found that about a quarter of young people say they regularly pay for at least one news product, like print or digital magazines or newspapers, and a similar percentage have donated to at least one nonprofit news organization.

Only 32% say they enjoy following the news. That’s a marked decrease from seven years ago, when 53% of millennials said that. Fewer young people now say they enjoy talking with family and friends about the news.

Other findings, such as people who say they feel worse the longer they spend online or who set time limits on their consumption, point to a weariness with the news, said Tom Rosenstiel, a University of Maryland journalism professor.

“I wasn’t surprised by that,” Bolden said. “It has been a challenging news cycle, especially the last three years.”

About 9 in 10 young people say misinformation about issues and events is a problem, including about 6 in 10 who say it’s a major problem. Most say they’ve been exposed to misinformation themselves.

Asked who they consider most responsible for its spread, young people pointed to social media companies and users, politicians and the media in equal measure.

That may surprise people in the media who believe they are fighting misinformation, and are not part of the problem, Bolden said. A significant number of people disagree.

“Whether that’s accurate or not, the people in this business have to deal with that perception,” he said.

He suggested that it’s important for news organizations to better explain what it is that they do and how coverage decisions are made, along with taking a step back to make clear how government functions, as well as holding leaders to account.

The percentage of people who say “news stories that seem to mostly create conflict rather than help address it” and “media outlets that pass on conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated rumors” are a major problem exceeded the number of people concerned about journalists putting too much opinion in their stories, the survey found.

That would seem to point a finger at cable news outlets that fill air time with debates on particular issues, often pitting people with extreme points of view. New CNN chief executive Chris Licht has recently called on his network to cool the overheated segments.

“There are people who have grown up in this world of political food-fight media, and this is the only world they know,” said Rosenstiel, who worked on the survey as Bolden’s predecessor at the press institute. “They might have heard their parents talk about Walter Cronkite, but they haven’t seen that.”

The topics people ages 16 to 40 say they most follow in the news? Celebrities, music and entertainment, at 49%, and food and cooking, at 48%, top the list. At least a third follow a wide range of other issues, including health and fitness, race and social justice, the environment, health care, education, politics and sports.

___

The AP-NORC poll of 5,975 Americans ages 16-40 was conducted May 18-June 8, using a combined sample of interviews from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population, and interviews from opt-in online panels. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 1.7 percentage points. The AmeriSpeak panel is recruited randomly using address-based sampling methods, and respondents later were interviewed online or by phone.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Thai police: More than 30 killed in childcare center attack

BANGKOK (AP) — Police in Thailand say more than 30 people were killed Thursday in a shooting at a childcare center in the northwest of the country. Police Maj. Gen. Achayon Kraithong said the gunman opened fire early in the afternoon in the center in the town of Nongbua Lamphu. He said 30 people were […]
1 day ago
FILE - A Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020 file photo of a Nobel medal displayed during a ceremony in New York....
Associated Press

Nobel panel to announce winner of literature prize

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The winner of the Nobel Prize in literature will be announced Thursday at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm. While the recipient is notoriously unpredictable, one clear contender is Salman Rushdie, the India-born writer and free-speech advocate who spent years in hiding after Iran’s clerical rulers called for his death over his 1988 […]
1 day ago
Sri Lanka's President Ranil Wickremesinghe meets Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at Akasaka Pa...
Associated Press

Sri Lanka begins crucial debt restructuring talks with China

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s president said Thursday his government has started debt restructuring discussions with China, an important step toward finalizing an International Monetary Fund rescue of the island nation from its worst economic crisis. President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament on Thursday that the initial talks will continue after China’s Communist Party […]
1 day ago
Destroyed Russian equipment is placed in an area at the recaptured town of Lyman, Ukraine, Wednesda...
Associated Press

Russian rockets slam into Ukrainian city near nuclear plant

KYIV (AP) — Seven Russian rockets slammed into residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia before dawn Thursday, killing two people and trapping at least five in the city close to Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, the governor of the mostly Russian-occupied region said. The strikes came just hours after Ukraine’s president announced that the country’s military had […]
1 day ago
Authorities and local residents save a migrant during a large-scale rescue operation on the island ...
Associated Press

Dramatic rescues as boats sink off Greece; 17 dead

KYTHIRA, Greece (AP) — Residents of a Greek island pulled shipwrecked migrants to safety up steep cliffs in dramatic rescues after two boats sank in Greek waters, leaving at least 17 people dead and dozens still missing. The coast guard said 16 of the bodies were of young African women while one was a young […]
1 day ago
FILE - Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss makes a speech at the Conservative Party conference at th...
Associated Press

With division at home, UK’s Truss seeks to thaw EU relations

LONDON (AP) — After an acrimonious divorce and years of bickering, Britain’s government looks like it wants to make up with the European Union. The tax-cutting economic plans of the country’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, has her feuding at home with financial markets, the opposition and chunks of her own Conservative Party. But abroad, […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Survey finds young people follow news, but without much joy