Millennials Follow the News, if it Appears on Facebook

Millennials don't actively seek out news — if it doesn't appear in their Facebook feed, they probably aren't going to see it.

Millennials aren't seeking out the news, like the generations before, according to Derek Thompson from The Atlantic. He reports that 90 percent of young people (ages 18-34) “stumble upon” news these days — you know, articles that appear in their Facebook feeds in between personal posts. Gone are the days of doing rounds online, bouncing from site to site to get your daily dose of current events.

The authors of the American Press Institute's report think that this kind of news discovery has always been the case, though, they write:

"People have always discovered news events partly by accident, by word-of-mouth, or by bumping into it while watching TV news or listening to the radio, and then turning to other sources to learn more.”

That's not to say that millennials don't care about the news. On the contrary, the report writes: "Millennials are more likely to report following politics, crime, [or] their local community." A skeptic would look at this sentence with a grain of salt, especially when you look at the most trending stories from News Whip.

Thompson writes that the top most engaging stories on Facebook during the month of January consisted of headliners, like 109-Year-Old Woman Gives a Remarkable Reason for Her Long Life and The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think. Not quite the “hard hitting” news that millennials are claiming they want.

Part of the American Press Institute's report, particularly sections involving survey data, may be more of a reflection of what people want to read more of rather than what they actually read on a day-to-day basis. What we do know is, if it's not on Facebook, it won't reach a majority of millennials.

Read the full report at the American Press Institute and read Thompson's assessment at The Atlantic.

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