September 05, 2003

The News Boomer -- and Buster

A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds that Baby Boomers are more likely than the next generation - essentially their children to read newspapers, even those wired enough to browse the online news pages every day.

That's not news. Every cohort of Americans in the last 40 years reads fewer newspapers than its predecessor.

What should be even more disturbing not just for newspapers but the entire news industry is the Pew study's finding that younger Americans are not only eschewing newspapers for browsers, but that they seem to be increasingly uninterested in news of any kind.

According to an AP story about the Pew study:

"The older tech elite, ages 42 to 62, are fond of technologies yet fall back on more traditional ways and means of doing things. Forty-four percent of this group go online for news on a typical day, but many more, 60%, pick up the newspaper. By comparison, 39% of the younger tech elite, ages 18 to 29, get news online and 42% read a newspaper."

John Horrigan of the Pew study is quoted saying, "The young tech elite are roughly even as to how they get their news, through newspapers and online, and for the older generation, it's very clearly old media."

That's not how it looks to me. In fact, the above numbers show more Boomers (44 percent) reading news online than the younger generation (39 percent). It looks to me that Boomers have transferred their newspaper reading habit online and that much of the younger generation has failed to develop a news habit. And that's not a good thing for the news media regardless of platform.

 Associated Press Study: Boomers Still Prefer Printed Pages

Posted by Tim Porter at September 5, 2003 07:38 AM

Well, for heaven's sake, what has your dear sweet grouchy old mother-in-law been telling you for the last five years.

It's still all about people not wanting to take responsibility for their own lives. People do not want to be informed. They might feel they need to think, participate, have an opinion, take action.

Posted by: d rabin on September 9, 2003 06:01 PM
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