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Young Folk and Newspaper Reading

My young friend and colleague, Daniel, has started a new blog, Yankee in Canada, which is off to a nice start. Today’s posting reveals the new Canadian Newspaper Association study on Reading Between the Lines: Debunking the Myths About Young Newspaper Readers. It’s a very readable 32 page PDF.
Highlights from the Backgrounder:
Among the conclusions of “Reading Between the Lines: Debunking Common
Myths about Young Newspaper Readers,” a D-Code study commissioned by the Canadian Newspaper Association:
1. Young newspaper readers are involved in the world around them. As a
result, there are strong social benefits correlated with newspaper
readership among youth. These include: increased participation in the
political process and increased involvement in community activities.
2. Young newspaper readers readily form opinions and seek out
opportunities to express them so as to influence others.
3. Young newspaper readers are socially active and outgoing. They are
more likely to visit shopping malls, restaurants, bars or night clubs
than infrequent readers.
4. Young readers depend more on conventional sources than on new media
for information on issues of importance to them. They rate newspapers
highly for credibility, but prefer online sources for world news,
entertainment and weather.
5. Young readers participate in new media and embrace new technologies
more than less frequent readers.
6. They are plugged-in, but not tuned out. The news-heavy front sections
and local news are the top two content areas read by young readers.
7. If young people have not become newspaper readers by age 24 they are
unlikely to become readers later in life. Exposure to newspapers in
schools as well as in the home has a significant impact on future
8. Newspapers should not take their younger readers for granted. Young
readers actively seek out news and information and have embraced all
the technologies that deliver it. They will go elsewhere if they
cannot find what they are looking for in the pages of a daily
I’ll be doing a YALSA session at ALA in New Orleans and I wonder how often we believe things about the younger generation that, well you know. How many impossibe things do we believe?
“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Alice in Wonderland.

Posted on: May 29, 2006, 7:06 pm Category: Uncategorized

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