Survey found that many people under 30 do not read news on newspapers or TV. For example, a study found that 80% of individual do not read newspapers daily, while 70% of older generation does in the United States. This phenomenon happens all over the world. It doesn’t mean that they are not interested in news, but they prefer other consumption patterns.
People worry that young people are no longer interested in public affairs and take it as the decline in a healthy democracy. Others argue that young people are still interested in news, but they would like to read the news that is more relevant to their lives. They found that the conventional newspaper is boring. They do not like to get news from traditional media. Instead, recent research found that they like to learn the current news story form social network sites, such as Facebook, MySpace.
What will happen when professional journalists cannot function as gatekeepers? Friends and family in social media now serve as gatekeepers that bring news stories to the young people. Online activities make the teenagers engaging with news in a far more complex way than in traditional media. They are not only learning the news event by reading the article itself, but at the same time exposed to the link embedded in the article, read the comments and opinions written by their friends or relatives. It means they are used to expose to a variety of opinion when they read news story. What is the impact on young people’s news consumption?
“Objectivity” is the golden rules of professional journalism. When young people can get news via social media, they inevitably get access to opinionated comments, rather than objective reports alone. Recent study found that young people prefer opinionated report, rather than object news story. It is therefore important to foster a critical mind for young people, so that they can how to make judgement on the news story.