Teens, Young Adults Not Too Interested in News

July 12, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Government & Politics | Media & Entertainment | Newspapers | Radio | Television | Youth & Gen X

US teenagers largely ignore war and politics – and news in general – according to a study from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government that found 60% of teenagers pay little attention to daily news, reports Reuters.

Some 28% of Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 said they pay almost no attention to daily news, and 32% said they pay only casual attention to one news source a day, according to the Harvard study.

Exposure to news media

Only one in 12 young adults and one in 20 teens say they rely heavily on a daily newspaper.

However, among people age 18-30, 48% said they pay attention to daily news, and only 23% of older Americans said they largely ignore news.

Teens and young adults make more use of internet-based news, relative to other media, than do older adults. However, teens’ interest in news is so low, that internet-based news receives about the same attention from older adults as it does from younger ones, the survey found.

Level of news media use

Teenagers and young adults are twice as likely to use television for their daily news. However, older Americans are twice as likely to regularly watch television news.

The survey revealed that radio is an underestimated source of news for Americans of all ages. Among teens, young adults, and older adults alike, radio has a larger inadvertent news audience – people who tune in for something other than news but get the news, too – than any other medium.

Some 1,800 people in the US were interviewed from January through March for the study (pdf).

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