Young Americans are “less enthusiastic” about the news than their older counterparts, and are less voracious consumers of news, according to a report [pdf] from the Pew Research Center and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Just 27% of 18-29-year-olds reported following news all or most of the time, about one-third of the proportion of adults aged 65 and older (77%).
Moreover, only 1 in 10 18-29-year-olds say they trust the information from the national media a lot, compared to 24% of those 65 and up. And the oldest respondents (65+) are more than three times as likely as the youngest to say that the national media do a very good job of keeping them informed.
Previous research from Pew has shown that Millennials’ perception of the national news media has eroded at a much faster rate this decade than other age groups’ perceptions.
Not surprisingly, there’s a wide gulf in age groups when examining the sources used to access the news. According to this latest study, 85% of respondents aged 65 and older said they often get the news from TV, compared to just 27% of 18-29-year-olds. By contrast, half of 18-29-year-olds report “often” getting the news online, more than double the proportion of the older set (20%). The disparity for print newspapers is even more stark: Americans aged 65 and older are almost 10 times more likely than those aged 18-29 to often get the news from a print newspaper (48% and 5%, respectively). No wonder print newspaper ads have far more influence among older than younger Americans.
One of the more notable findings in the study relates to loyalty to news sources. Respondents were almost evenly split in their feelings of loyalty, with 51% claiming to be loyal and 48% not particularly loyal. Still, 76% said they usually turn to the same sources when they get news, while 23% don’t turn to the same sources.
That translates to 48% of adults being “very loyal” – claiming loyalty and going to the same sources – versus 18% being “non-loyal” (saying they’re not loyal and don’t go to the same sources). Those findings are interesting in light of new data from Gallup, which finds that Americans are more likely today to turn to specific sources for news than they were just a few years ago. As Gallup puts it, “Americans are becoming less likely to view their news sources in terms of how they get news — radio, television, print or internet — and more in terms of who specifically provides it.” The most commonly mentioned media organization was Fox News (9%), followed by CNN (8%) and then social media (6%).
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About the Data: The Pew Research Center results are based on a survey conducted January 12-February 8, 2016, among 4,654 US adults (18+).