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Beyond newspapers: News consumption among young people in the digital era

by Andreu Casero-Ripollés
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Abstract

News consumption is undergoing great changes due to the advance of digitisation. In this context, ascertaining the changes in readers’ consumption habits is essential for measuring the scope and effects of digital convergence and the outlook for the future. This article aims to analyse this transformation in the specific case of young people’s relationship with news reporting. The methodology is based on a quantitative survey of people aged between 16 and 30 (N=549) in order to examine their consumer habits and perceptions. The results show the emergence of social networks as a news medium and the decline of traditional media, and newspapers in particular. However, we observed a high level of interest in news stories and their positive valuation in civic terms on the part of young people. These data also reveal the obvious appeal of cost-free content. Finally, the results highlight the gender gap with men as the greater news consumers, and the impact of age, with news consumption increasing as young people mature. The conclusions of this research suggest that profound changes are emerging in news consumption patterns and the concept of news among young people.

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