Young People ‘Fatigued’ By Digital News

June 03, 2008 03:05 PM
by Liz Colville
A new study says young people are overloaded with facts when reading news online. Media outlets are changing their reporting styles in response.

30-Second Summary

“Consumers’ news diets are out of balance due to the over-consumption of facts and headlines,” according to Robbie Blinkoff, cofounder of Context-Based Research Group. Younger generations, relying chiefly on “digital news” sources, are hard pressed to find deep coverage of headlines.

The group’s report was commissioned by the Associated Press in 2007 and was presented June 2 at the World Editors Forum in Göteborg, Sweden.

In response to the findings, the Associated Press has developed a system called “1-2-3 filing,” under which it posts news first as headline information, then as brief present-tense stories, and finally longer stories with background information.

Other news sources, like the U.K.’s Telegraph, have followed suit online and reaped the benefits of more Web site visitors.

Generations X and Y are seen as pioneers of multitasking, yet despite frequent checking of headlines—what the study calls a “sign of boredom”—young people claim to still want resources on the background and context of those headlines.

A recent study by Nielsen Online reports that users are spending more time than they did in 2007 on many top news Web sites, including, as well as the Web sites of newspapers the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The Seattle Times.

Headline Link: ‘Young Adults Hit by “News Fatigue”’

Background: AP shifts focus in digital age of news

Related Topics: Readers gain editorial influence, stay longer at top news sites

Reference: ‘A New Model for News’


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