An Associated Press executive has revealed some of the results of its survey of 18-to-34-year-olds around the world — conducted in an attempt to understand how young people consume the news and how news organizations can check the decline in young readership.
Jim Kennedy, Vice President and Director of Strategic Planning at AP, summed up the soon-to-be-released survey results in an interview with Jean-Yves Chainon, of the World Editors Forum “Editors Weblog” Web site. “We looked for just regular people,” Kennedy told Chainon. “The only prerequisite was that we wanted them to be digital consumers.”
The survey found that young consumers get their news in an irregular fashion, and generally have no ritual of news consumption, like reading the newspaper or watching the evening news every day. However, the survey also found that young people, in addition to facts and updates, wanted the news to be presented with context. “They wanted to find a path to the backstory,” said Kennedy. “And they wanted to find a path to what’s going to happen next.”
Other significant findings of the survey included the fact that most of the survey group shared news with each other, whether via text message, e-mail, or social networks, like MySpace and Facebook. Also, the survey found that 16 of the 18 participants got their news through e-mail, a medium which traditional media like newspapers rarely employ. Kennedy also noted that the survey turned up few cultural differences between young consumers, telling Chainon “The young digital consumers in Hyderabad were very similar to the ones in Silicon Valley in the United States.”
The survey group consisted of 18 individuals, living in six cities or regions around the world. Those places were: Houston, Philadelphia; Kansas City; Silicon Valley; Brighton, England; and Hyderabad, India.
Kennedy will present the survey findings in full at the World Editors Forum, which will be held June 1-4 in Gothenburg, Sweden.