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Pew Research: GenY get most news from Facebook

13 June, 2015
By Allison Orr

New research from Pew has shown that in America, the Millennial generation (Gen Y) is going to Facebook for their political news.

Six-in-ten (61%) report getting their political news from Facebook in a given week, a larger percentage than any other news source.  This is higher than for GenXers and Boomers.

Given that Facebook allows a person to customize their news sources according to their individual interests and political leanings, or items shared from Friends, Pew points out that there are longer-term questions for what this means for the political system.  Increasing polarisation is an avidly discussed topic in the US, and with young people appearing to actively tailor their political news according to their own tastes, this could be a concerning development.  Nicholas Negroponte talked about the “Daily Me” in his book Being Digital as early as 1995, but it is now easier than ever to do.

A further corollary to this finding is the continuing demise of the newspaper.  This research seems to show that not only do Millennials not buy newspapers, but also don’t primarily go to online newspaper sites for their news.

Last week saw the demise of the MX newspaper, a newspaper that had been given out for free in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.  The reason given was that the younger commuter audience have all shifted to mobile.  It appears that you can no longer even give away a newspaper to young people.

Media Watch on the ABC last week looked at this in Australia, and found similar results – Millennials turning to social media for news.  Paul Barry sees the major concern in this shift as the power it gives platforms like Facebook: “Think of Facebook like Coles or Woollies, the only place that consumers go.  Good for customers maybe but less so for suppliers.  Growing market share means growing power, and news sites end up like dairy farmers”.

Previously published in undefined.

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