Research Suggests Divide in How Millennials Value News

Apr 04, 2017

Millennials with at least one college-educated parent are more inclined than other young adults to seek out news sources, Northwestern University research suggests. Based on interviews with young adults from varying socioeconomic backgrounds, the study looks at how millennials navigate the high-choice media landscape and the strategies they use to locate information about current events.

By many accounts, the first generation to grow up in the digital age is less interested than previous generations in following the news, relying instead on social network sites for their information. This leads to questions about the role of the media in developing an informed society.

But the truth is much more nuanced, according to Edgerly, who conducted in-depth interviews with 21 young adults, ages 18 to 27.

The first group of young adults -- primarily from households with at least one parent who went to college -- articulated strategies that directly involved using the news media for current events information.

The second group also had specific strategies for locating current events information, but their strategies avoided direct use of the news media.

In this era of fake news, it is interesting to note that the research also showed millennials are highly skeptical and do not believe everything they read. Young adults understand they need to be discerning consumers of information. However, the strategies millennials have for satisfying this need are very different.

(Northwestern Now)