27.07.2012 Teens shun newspapers: majority now consume news online

Could Facebook be the equivalent to the six o’clock news in the eyes of  teenagers asks Katie Gupwell.

According to a new study, it’s clear that young people under the age of 25 are far more likely to access their daily news via social networking sites such as Facebook than traditional media. This is hardly surprising with the site’s social reading apps feature allowing popular articles to go viral incredibly quickly.

The Reuters Institute Digital Report shows that 43% of British youngsters between the age of 16 and 24 access their daily news updates through social networking sites, as opposed to researching via wider internet resources, putting a more literal twist on the idea of a “newsfeed.”

With reading articles becoming as popular as posting photographs and playing interactive games, it seems that the youth of today are also accessing their daily dose of current affairs whilst socially interacting with others on the World Wide Web.

Facebook is said to be the most important social network site in terms of spreading information across the globe, sending half of the world’s news across the UK with the common email, and opposing networking site, Twitter following slightly behind.

In the UK, we generally focus our interest on the latest celebrity scandals, scientific discoveries and the new hi-tech releases, so you have to question whether  enough “real news” actually gets enough profile amidst all the gossip and gadgets. But, the fact of the matter is today’s teens are far more likely to read a Facebook article than they are to pick up a newspaper.

Today’s age offers kindles instead of books, computers instead of toys and now news online instead of on paper. With the internet offering instant access to news regularly, it comes as no surprise that social networking is quickly evolving into one of the biggest sources for news and information.

Young people may not be the first to pick up the newspaper in the morning, but they’ll definitely be the first to check their newsfeed, and with “trending articles” commonly fixed at the top of the home page, it’s likely that they’ll have read the morning highlights before their parents have even turned the very first page of the newspaper.