Convenience, Not Medium, Most Important Factor in Garnering News

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People aged 18 – 24 are less likely to depend on traditional media for news, instead relying on social media and other online resources, a Pew Research study suggested in 2012.

However, traditional media, including TV, radio and print, have not been entirely forgotten by this age group.

In general, an American Press Institute study found the topic and nature of the story determines the medium or media used by the general public.

And often, the study continues, Americans use multiple sources to get their news.

While about 60 percent of adults under the age of 30 receive news daily, the 40 percent that receive no news at all is the largest of all demographics.

Mobile media

Americans that own a tablet or smartphone are more likely to use new media.

Laptops, a Mojive study said, are the most prominent source of news, followed by TVs, tablets, desktop computers and mobile phones.

People equipped with these devices are more often to use new media in consuming their news.

“There is a strong correlation between mobile technology and social media and various other digital activities,” the API study said. “Smartphone owners, for instance, are two and half times as likely to get news through social media as those without smartphones.”

Social media

Over a third of 18 – 24 year olds receive news from social networking, the Pew Research study said.

The younger the American, the more likely they will use social media for news.

Jen Mickels, a North Dakota State senior, said she often gets her news through apps.

Mickels said she receives the news “constantly” through sites like Facebook and Buzzfeed.

In all, Mickels said she spends about 30 minutes a day consuming news.

“Younger people age 18-29,” the API study said, “are more than three times as likely to discover news through social media than adults 60 and older (71 percent vs. 21 percent).

“Social media is becoming an important tool for people across all generations to discover news but hardly the only one.”

Traditional media

However, the API study said, “more traditional devices are still important for younger adult news habits, too.”

Jessie Dingmann, a freshman at North Dakota State, said she watches TV to “keep up with what’s going on in the area.”

Dingmann said she dislikes reading “so the paper is not an option.”

Although viewership is dropping, more than four out of five Americans have watched TV for news in the last week.

Heather Johnson, a junior at NDSU, said she watches about an hour of TV per day.

“I want to stay informed about what’s going on around me,” Johnson said.

Mickels said she seldom watches the TV for local news.

Traditional media, the API study said, still holds weight in local stories.

Mickels, who is majors in both human development and family sciences and music, said she reads The Spectrum usually when she has connections to the story.

She reads it “when there is a music article about something I was involved in or know,” she said.

Her favorite part of the newspaper, Mickels said, is an interactive aspect not found readily in traditional media: the Sudoku puzzles.

Multiple media

Convenience seems to be the key factor when it comes to news consumption, the API study said.

The study suggested “that people make conscious choices about where they get their news and how they get it, using whatever technology is convenient at the moment.”

Adults younger than 30 are “equally as likely to get news from TV as from their cell phones,” the API study said. “… Americans don’t tend to rely on a single source.”

Both Dingmann and Johnson said they do not depend solely on one source for their news.

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