A research team led by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, together with colleagues from the Universities of Lugano and Lausanne, delved into the lifeworld of young people. The aim was to understand how "digital natives" can be reached with news.
To this end, they conducted interviews with participants aged between 12 and 20, documented their news consumption and had them write media diaries. This revealed how the news behaviour of young people changes with age.
Influenced by parents' news consumption
According to the study, the news consumption of 12- to 14-year-olds is strongly influenced by their parents. They hardly use their smartphones to access online news services - partly because parents and school restrict their time with their mobile phones. Instead, they sometimes browse the newspaper at home or watch the daily news with their parents. However, the reports are usually incomprehensible to them or do not interest them because they do not see any points of contact with their own lives.
Open for any news
From the age of 14, the picture changes: the influence of parents decreases, that of friends, acquaintances and social media platforms increases. Young people want to be informed in order to have their say and be socially integrated. However, they do not yet have a news routine and are open to any news.
Therefore, this age group has the highest chance of being reached with new news formats, write the study authors. According to the study, this age group would like apps with images, short videos and text overlays that summarize the most important information.
As soon as young people reach the age of 18, they access news very specifically via apps and social media channels. They know what they want to know, where to get the information, and what formats they like best. Although videos and pictures are still popular, they are gradually gaining a liking for written reports. (SDA)