A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York, by Merrill Brown, a media consultant and founding editor-in-chief of MSNBC.com--based on a survey of 18-to-34-year-olds commissioned for this report and carried out by Frank N. Magid Associates in May 2004--reveals that 44% percent of 18-to-34-year-olds say they frequent Internet portals such as Google and Yahoo! News once a day or more to stay updated on the news. Only 19% of young consumers rank newspapers as their primary source for current information.
Brown writes, "The future course of the news, including the basic assumptions about how we consume news and information and make decisions in a democratic society is being altered by technology-savvy young people no longer wedded to traditional news outlets or even accessing news in traditional ways."
"Technology and globalization have challenged the news industry but quality journalism is more important in today's increasingly complicated world," said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. "Who runs the industry, what journalists cover as news and how information and technology coexist are issues that the nation's leading universities with schools of journalism must examine and why the Corporation is focusing on journalism education and its role in building tomorrow's news business." The Corporation will announce a journalism initiative with the Knight Foundation this spring.
The report, written by Brown, has been published in the Carnegie Reporter, the magazine of Carnegie Corporation of New York, and is available on the Corporation's web site at www.carnegie.org. Here are some more results from the report, which is entitled, "Abandoning the News:"
-- 37% of respondents reported that watching local television at least once a day is their primary news source, followed by network or cable TV web sites at 19%, cable networks at 18% and national broadcast networks at 16%.
-- Web portals and local TV newscasts are frequently used by more than half of the 18-to-34 population.
-- Non-news cable networks and late-night talk shows are used more frequently than network news magazines or cable news talk shows.
-- According to the survey, women find that local TV is the most important source for learning about daily news, whereas men prefer the Internet.
-- Local TV is also driven by low- and middle-income groups, with high-income and broadband users driving use of the Internet for news.
-- Over 70% of 18-to-34-year-olds view local TV news at least once a week.
-- "Being trustworthy," "being up-to-date," and "alerting" news consumers to "damaging or harmful situations" ranked as the most important factors in survey respondents' choice to access news from one form of media over another.
-- 18-to-24-year-olds are most likely to say the Internet is less trustworthy than local, cable and national network TV news.
-- 25-to-34-year-olds say the Internet is as trustworthy as newspapers.
-- 18-to-24-year-olds intend to utilize more of all news sources, especially the Internet and local TV news.
-- There is some good news for newspapers: Nearly a third of 18-to-34-year-olds learn about news from newspapers on a daily basis and more than half trust newspapers "a lot."
A set of PowerPoint slides comprising a distillation of the survey data is available at www.carnegie.org/pdf/AbandoningTheNews.ppt.
"Journalism has often been defined as the news of the day--now it's more like the news of the hour, or even the minute," said Brown, commenting on his report to the Corporation. "Instant news on the Internet, other new technologies, and the increasingly held view that news needs to be a two-way process is changing the entire way news is consumed. In particular, the recent study reveals that 18-to-34-year-olds are shying away from newspapers at an alarming rate--thus unhinging traditional methods of accessing news."
About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." As a grantmaking foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim "to do real and permanent good in this world." The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $1.9 billon on September 30, 2004. The Corporation awards grants totaling approximately $80 million a year in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development and strengthening U.S. democracy.