From Newspaper to Newsbrand
As informed adult millennials, we oppose the comments made in Steve d’Eça’s letter, March 23, which affirmed that young adults are not interested in the news today.
To begin, many news networks take sides with political parties as it makes for better ratings than doing straight, unbiased reporting. Most people care less about information than affirmation of their own views - which is a confirmation bias.
Just as Mr d’Eça follows media sources that back up his opinions, I believe his arguments regarding the youth not paying attention to the news have not been fully examined.
Our daily lives are fast-paced. We push our 24 hours to the limit. Our priorities change as we get older. However, this does not mean that we are too busy to care about the world’s current affairs. The next generation has definitely not thrown out the book on what is important, current and valuable. What’s significant to one may not be for the other.
There are more occasions now to consume media content since we live in a digital age. Newspapers have evolved to become “Newsbrands”, branching out from traditional print to mobile and online formats.
Despite these developments, there is still a misconception that young people don’t read “newsbrands” and that older people stick to the printed kind.
An intriguing study by Newsworks, a marketing organization for national newsbrands, points out differences and similarities in the reading behaviours of younger and older individuals.
Millennials (18-34 years old) are more likely than Boomers (50-65 years old) to get their news on digital devices. Young people still form strong newsbrand habits, in spite of facing a far more cluttered news landscape than previous generations did at their age.
The (traditional) media influences the news, and does not produce enough content to engage its viewers. Millennials will turn to multiple newsbrands for a balanced point of view, which introduces us to stories we would not otherwise read - regardless of whether the stories are “positive or negative” in nature.
We know from the National Readership Survey’s print and digital data that newsbrands reach 4.8 million Millennials every day and 13.5 million of them every month. The corresponding figures for Boomers are 5 million daily and 10.6 million every month.
The inundation of information in a multi-platform world has strengthened the role of newsbrands as providers of factual and professional journalism. Similarly, there is a cross-generational appreciation that newsbrands deliver a view of the world by informing its audience what they need to know and no more.
The next generation has not lost focus on what is happening in the world. We may be attracted to short, comical online videos, but that is no different than the older generations who read the Funnies in the papers. We have new habits and attitudes. We consume news in our own way.
One of the Boomers most influential icons, Bob Dylan, said it best: “The Times, They Are A-Changing”. Without change, there can be no progress. I can believe that.
Jesse and Jeremy d'Eça
(Steve d’Eça’s adult children)