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“It’s a matter of age”: Four dimensions of youths’ news consumption

Publication Date Sep 8, 2022

Abstract

News media in Switzerland are confronted with the challenge of not reaching young people, as youth-specific news platforms and formats are not used by the target group. Our study aims to determine how and where young people can be reached with news. It uses a mixed methods approach to analyze the expectations of young people towards news content and formats and to determine their news consumption patterns. The results show that young people’s news consumption is characterized by four dimensions: 1. duration and times of consumption, 2. news consumption habits and behavior, 3. restrictions, 4. media literacy. The significance of these dimensions varies between three age groups determined through the study. The news consumption of the 12-to-14 year-olds is strongly restricted by parents and school. This group consumes news mainly through media available at home. In the group of 15- to-17 year-olds, parental influence and restrictions decrease, while peer influence increases. This age group spends a lot of time on social media platforms where young people stumble upon news rather accidentally. Between 18 and 20 years of age, news consumption stabilizes, and individual patterns emerge. This age group accesses news via selected apps and social media channels. Young people in Switzerland prefer visual formats like pictures, videos, and memes. When scrolling through social media platforms, they come across news content which arouses their interest in certain information and leads them to search for it on media websites. Swiss Yout...

Concepts

News Consumption Social Media Platforms News Content Young People News Consumption Patterns Swiss Youth Social Media Channels Relevant News Media Literacy News Consumption Behavior

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