The youth of the US, they are revolting. Not in the nasty sense, but revolting against consuming TV news.
According to some research from Pew, an increasingly small number of ‘young’ Americans are switching off their TV and turning on their phone/tablet/laptop when seeking out the latest news.
According to The Guardian, the report states “Only about a third (34%) of those younger than 30 say they watched TV news yesterday; in 2006 nearly half of young people (49%) said they watched TV news the prior day”. In addition, there was a “notable preference” for consuming news on social media sites over local TV news, according to The Guardian. 42% of 18-29 year olds watched what the US classes as ‘local news’ in 2006, but that figure has dropped to 28% since then.
Perhaps the dual screen habits of playing with a phone or tablet while watching TV are shining through – you’re unlikely to seek out news on Twitter while watching the 10 o’clock News, I would have thought.
Although, I can think of a few use cases that would throw off these results. I regularly go on Twitter with no intention of looking for news, only to end up reading a few articles posted by those I follow. I may throw off the average, given I follow a lot of journalists and PRs, but still. And what if I’m watching BBC TV news on my tablet. Where am I plonked in these results then?
TV’s audience may be aging, but more devices capable of news consumption could and should lead to more news consumption overall. The BBC is already making efforts to improve the iPlayer experience generally for mobile device users. If these US trends come to the UK, it’s up to TV news outlets to make their output as appealing to mobile readers as possible.