ARTICLE: Millenials’ definition of “news” is becoming broader

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The so-called Millenial generation considers as “news” a wider selection of information than what journalists and scholars usually do. This finding is reported by Natalia Rulyova, of University of Birmingham, and Hannah Westley, of The American University of Paris.

The authors analysed the media diaries of 189 university students from Russia, France, United Kingdom, and United States (from one university in each). In addition, 45 Russian students participated in group discussions. In particular, the authors wanted the students to list all news items they came across and the platform the news were delivered on.

Most notably, the students listed as news a variety of information usually not considered as “hard news”. Listed were, for example: movie trailers, news of an acquaintance’s engagement, restaurant recommendations and news of pedestrians stopping traffic to help ducks cross a road.

As expected, the share of online news was conclusive: depending on the country, from 75 to 95 per cent of the news items were “internet-enabled”. Furthermore, most students relied on social media (either Facebook or VKontakte) to discover the news. Interestingly, the share of social media-borne news was smallest among the American students. The American students’ field of study (medicine and sciences) could be the reason to their news diets’ more professional orientation, the authors suggest.

The article “Changing News Genres as a Result of Global Technological Developments” was published by the journal Digital Journalism. It is available online on the publisher’s website (abstract free).

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