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Many young adults are rejecting the traditional news media
-particularly newspapers

 4:17 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

hardly ever buys a paper and says TV news is "annoying" because of its emphasis on celebrities and promotions for programs that won't air for hours or even days.

"What works for me, and I think I'm speaking for a lot of people in my age group, is the Internet," Glas said. "It's absolutely convenient."

Media Of The Masses
Where 18-to 34-year olds in the (NYC) metro area get their information.
Daily newspaper 55%
Sunday newspaper 56%
Magazine 94%
Internet 80%
Radio 92%
Television 79%

Why Won't Johnny Read? [newsday.com]

I'm far out of range of the top age limit (34) of this study, and my SmallTown US home/background certainly isn't NYC. Even so, this article is dead-on, IMO.



 4:26 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Very interesting reading, i will not tell you which group i am in, but i agree.
I used to load in CNN in an Iframe of webmasterworld (In the 500 charatcher space below each thread).

Even CNN have understood this, take a view on the bottom of the page, they have 3 main papers there.

I would say the only reason when young people read magazines or watch TV news, is something special happens, the latest was probably Space Shuttle Columbia, you want to here the experts, and you want to view high resolution video's, and you want to be able to sit down and read a newspaper and focus (You can focus more easily with a newspaper in front of you (IMHO))

Otherwise everyday news is pure online business.
I think it's becomming more important for the news services to create a good brand, because in the end that's a very important thing when it comes to selecting which website you will select to visit first.

Most young people will probably go to cnn, usatoday, nytimes etc, because the names are famous, then it's up to them to keep them there.


 7:14 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I would totally agree. I never read the newspaper or that many magazines. I prefer to read majority of news on-line and listen to it over the radio when I'm driving to and from work. It's more convenient and it's at no cost to the customer in most cases. I like to be able to pick and chose what I'm interested in instead of having to pay for some thing that I end up only reading a few articles out off.

These types of news medium are geared to wards the user and what the user wants. Not the other way around.


 10:37 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, I fit right into the middle of that age range and I read a daily and sunday newspaper, a monthly legal publication and the German language IT magazines c't and iX. I hardly ever look at any internet news sites. I donīt have a TV either. So my main source of information is the newspaper which I read each morning while having breakfast. Starting the day offline with a newspaper, a nice cup of tee and some waffles, pancakes, etc. is what I prefer.

I just couldn't imagine reading an essay or a longer in-depth investigative story online.



 10:50 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just couldn't imagine reading an essay or a longer in-depth investigative story online.

If an article is long enough, and interesting enough, I'll print it out and read it on paper.

Learning Curve

 11:00 pm on Feb 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ever notice how the national evening TV news is full of laxative commercials?


 12:08 am on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Really, it depends "what for."

I don't watch television news because I don't care about half the sports, most of the fashion and entertainment, and almost all of the consumer and human interest stories.

I don't buy newspapers not because I have any disregard for the medium, but because of the cost. I'm not going to buy the NY Times for a dollar a day when I'll only be able to finish a third of it anyway. I get most or all the content I want online and don't have to pay for or carry around smudging my hands and clothes, again, all those "lifestyle" and "automotive" and "weddings" articles I don't care about.

But I do subscribe to two weekly magazines, two monthly magazines, one bimonthly journal, and two quarterly journals, all of which I find time to read more or less cover to cover. When you want in-depth analysis of an event or issue, it's not easily found on the Internet, and a magazine is perfectly sized for reading on the train on the way to work. And even relatively well-circulated, well-funded publications like Foreign Affairs only place a few excerpts of a few selected articles online.

They've pumped up entertainment and sports and celebrity folderol, and none of it has worked

Personally, it is this sort of patronizing attitude which annoys me the most about the mainstream media, with attendant political bias (really, just the same "we know what you want to hear" from a different angle) coming second.


 2:07 pm on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

There's a couple things I forgot to mention. I do subscribe to a bunch of magazines (work related) but this is on a business level not personal. I do love reading magazines and having something to hold on to in my hands.

Even though I do do most of my reading on-line and keep up with things I do find myself printing off a lot of things. I can't handle reading long lengthy articles on-line. It's just not relaxing enough and to taxing on the eyes. I suppose if I had a tablet PC or something to that affect I might consider using more of a digital form for those long articles. Realistically I would prefer that if possible since that has less of an impact on the environment then us using endless amounts of paper.


 6:55 pm on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

>emphasis on celebrities and promotions for programs that won't air for hours or even days.

Wow. Talk about a generation that is used to getting everything immediately.

jeremy goodrich

 7:02 pm on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't read paper anymore. :) Just stuff online. And I fit into the age range...

My wife also doesn't read newspapers, etc - but both of us pay a lot of attention to online news, etc. Imho, it's a matter of getting a ton more info, with a lot less annoyance...


 8:54 pm on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't read many newspapers anymore. I used to buy them at the weekend but now you can go onto BBC news or Google and easily check/search for the latest stories.


 9:24 pm on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

If a newspaper came to my door every morning, cost me nothing, and I could read it while waiting on queries to run at work, then I would read a newspaper everyday.

Online news has all of those advantages over traditional print for me. I am 26.

I actually delivered newspapers for 4 years as a kid, wrote a column for the paper in college, and almost went to work for the largest newspaper in my city as an analyst. That is a pretty strong connection to the old daily rag, but sentiment is not enough to hold me to something that does not fit my lifestyle as well as the online version.


 9:55 pm on Feb 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

I am the webmaster for a daily Northern Vermont (USA) newspaper that has been online since 1997. The paper sells about 11,000 hard copies per day six days per week.

According to 4 different site statistics programs (and those of you experienced in these programs will know what I am talking about and the reasons why), the website gets on average between 4500 and 7000 unique visits per day seven days per week and had been increasing by 5-15% per month over the last 12-months. At that rate it won't be long before more people are reading the online version than the hard copy version.

The problem is that the management, mostly over 50-somethings, have no understanding of what this means. They still are trying to fit the website to their understanding of news and the hardcopy version - much as when television first came out and was treated like radio. They are looking into putting the news into PDF or some proprietary format for online delivery. The news is stored in a database for the internet - I maintain I can also put the news into XML format and then have it available for whatever delievery method comes down the pike - nobody knows what is going to be out there 5 or 10-years from now.


 3:35 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

because of its emphasis on celebrities

Straight on. And, lately, reality shows... that pulled me away from regular media.


 4:41 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I commute to NYC on a daily basis which gives me time to read the USA Today, Star Ledger, NY Times, and Wall Street Journal. I get the first three courtesy of Rutgers University, and usually I shell out the extra buck for the WSJ.

While sites like CNN.com and MSNBC are useful in terms of immediacy, they cannot compete with the traditional print media. As for the Nightly News, why bother? I watch O'Reilly once in a while, because even though I don't always agree with him the level of debate is far ahead of anything else on TV. That in and of itself is an indictment of the current standard of news on television today.

Did I mention I'm a twentysomething . . .? ;)


 6:07 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hard copy news is yesterday's news. Get the news online and it's real-time news.

I discontinued all newspapers and magazines several years ago and made a committment to getting all the news online then, although I do turn on the tube to watch CNN or MSNBC to get the political flavor of the news for a short time each evening.

What a relief it was to quit hauling twenty-five pounds of newpapapers and magazines to the trash each week, to say nothing of having them strung all over my living room. The money savings pays for my Internet service.

It's a rare day that I even go to the television for weather reports. Why sit through three commercials and wait 15 minutes to get the local weather when I can get it in less than 60 seconds online.

I'm in the over-the-hill 50+ crowd, my friends, and I'm not alone in my age group in adapting to the web.

So here's pretty much how it goes for me:

Newspapers 0%
Magazines 0%
Internet 90%
Radio 0%
Television 10%

As multimedia comes better of age, I expect the conventional television to bite the dust.


 6:44 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmm.. so now how do we get people to PAY for news on the internet?

If the tone and figures in this thread are correct, paying for news on the internet is just around the corner.

Im over the age limit, and though we have news websites and i spend a lot of time online, I still read the dailies for broad focus and weekly inetrnational business and economic mags for the length and depth of articles.

Maybe one reason is that internet news items are usually much shorter. Maybe that is why the young guys like them. You can also choose much better. I agree with some here that waiting through shcmalzty human interest, celebrity, sports crap, plus comemrcials and station promos means I hardly ever watch broadcast or cable/sattelite news now directly, though it is sometimes "on" very much in the background. - but by the time i realise they are talking of something of interest, they have moved on to a commercial or something else.


 7:46 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

People won't ever pay for online news - which is precisely why its growth is so phenomenal. The people in the demographic being discussed are already used to *not* paying for online news, and unless it's specialty news like the WSJ - it's not going to be paid for. I also take issue with the folks who say they're turned off by celebrity and "lite" flavored media. I think it's the younger demographic (of which I'm a member) that indulges in this more than any other. The people watching all those insipid reality shows and TRL on MTV aren't the boomers.


 8:57 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>People won't ever pay for online news<<

IId take you up on a bet they do! People were not used to paying for search engine exposure as well until Overture and GoogleAdwords came along.

How can an industry sustain itself and pay reporters and media professionals salaries if people are not paying for it? Advertising revenue is iffy to say the least. And Reuters, AP and other newsagencies need to be paid. Somehow news providers need to justify what they are spending on online delivery. It used to be the branding effects on traditonal media, but from reports here, it seems that these dempgraphic may just be abandoning the core revenue generating mediums for the free online content. Sometime soon that model will have to crack.

Always true in business is that demand effects pricing. As demand increases and sophistication increases you will be PAYING for most news on the net I can guarantee you, most likely through subscription services and secondary publishing models, or through advertising. The first option is far more likely.

>>I think it's the younger demographic (of which I'm a member) that indulges in this more than any other.<<

The first posting seems to offer the opposite view, which of course does not invalidate yours, but im interested in seeing more research. I've always guessed the mainstream media does the highest quality of media and audience research, but they might be missing key trends.


 9:37 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I check a print newspaper maybe twice a month and watch TV news once a week. I do this mostly to see how the events are being spun, and not for "hard" information. The web is where I go, daily, for news.

One major factor (lamented in several major movies in the past years) is that the traditional media are now in the business of selling our eyeballs to advertisers. To a very significant degree, they are NOT really in the business of communicating news and commentary, except as it serves their prime directive - selling our eyeballs.

This has caused a great distortion in the news, and more distortion seems to be on the way. It's been called "infotainment".

I pay happily for online news content from several "alternative" sources - businesses who may indeed have a slant behind what they report, but who know that they are in the business of creating the content itself, rather than selling my readership to advertisers.

My age demographic? When my dad was my age, he was retired. So I'm living proof that it's not just young adults.


 10:24 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

interesting comments tedster. I see a role for blogs. After all nothing beats news from the spot, even if its written by a non-journalist. In fact sometimes this personal view is much better.

We always knew that the new publishing capabilities for the internet would pose a strategic threat to the monopolistic media oligarchy if they couldn't but the web over themseleves. The battle is certainly not won yet, but its going on for longer than many would have predicted.

IId much rather see what a guy who writes a blog from surabaya whose blog ive read and grown respect for, reports on rioting or an earthquake in his home town, than some guy from CNN, who was flown in for the event.


 10:25 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I run the top online news site in my region.

Most newspapers/online sites cannot make enough money from advertising to support their business -- they need subscribers. In our case we can make 20 times what we are currently receiving in advertising if we can make people subscribe. That extra money will enable the site to grow and to become an even more useful resource to the reader.

The Internet was free just to get people online and used to being online. People paid for news before the Internet -- they will pay again.

Managers working in subscription departments are looking to stop losses as subscribers leave print editions. These managers are also more used to the Internet and are now looking to the net to make up lost revenues.

Our projection is that by the end of this year most news sites will have some sort of paid subscription, with free content sites promoting pay sites for a cut of the profits.

As an intermediate step we are currently working on a system to close off access to ALL online news in our region unless you have what we call a "newspass". Users pay for a subscription to one site and get them all. This is a bit like the Adult Check system for porn sites. I suspect that there are many other news sites and content providers working on similar systems.

It is not a matter of if you will pay for online news, but when.


 10:42 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Media Of The Masses
Where 18-to 34-year olds in the (NYC) metro area get their information.
Daily newspaper 55%
Sunday newspaper 56%
Magazine 94%
Internet 80%
Radio 92%
Television 79%

My age fits in that category and my name is also John so I thought I better reply :)

For information, I like reading the newspaper occasionally, don't read any magazines, listen to the radio often, watch TV a lot, and get tons of information for the internet. I would have to say 1. Internet 2. TV 3. Radio 4. Newspaper

IMHO I am surprized radio is so high.


 11:35 am on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

crisscorss wrote>>As an intermediate step we are currently working on a system to close off access to ALL online news in our region unless you have what we call a "newspass". Users pay for a subscription to one site and get them all.<<

I agree with you that we are moving fast to "pay" but i dont see how this system will work.

How can you "close off ALL access to online news in a region?" Iid think that was impossible in practice. Or are you referring to a certain group of sites who all agree to it? How can you make sure everyone with a reasonable web site in your region will join, and are not those who wont join actually going to be very popular at least short term? The problem with paying is not only expense, but inconvenience - eg: password access, remembering passwords, slower access, losing passwords, and accessing using diff machines, public machines, diff devices etc?

Also how do you define region? I know your site if it is the same as your email address. Do you mean just japan or north asia, or all of asia?

So if you manage to bring together say all the Japanese English language on-line newspapers, moreover and RSS feeds, all of your main competitors and sites that are more general but may have a good Japan coverage, how do you stop new comers dropping into your previously free space or general sites with japan sections? And how do you deal with those japan news services that already have a subscription model like one i know? Or are you gaving a deal with the Japanese and international newsagencies/newsfeeds to only provide content to those who are part of the network?

Im interested in hearing more obviously, but I just cant see at present how attempting to build a monopoly like this will work on the web.

I can see how it would work with sites offering subs individually (eg Wall st journal) or commonly owned networks like say CNN/Time doing it, but cant see it with trying to get together all sites in a particular area to agree.


 1:17 pm on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good questions Chiyo,

In our region there are only a few players. Whether the system works will depend on the deal that is offered to the participants.

This type of system is suitable for content that is in a particular region or field. It works equally well for regional news or for special interest magazines.

Our proposal is to have all sites behind a single payment gateway. The user only has one password and one payment to access participating sites. Revenues are shared among participating sites. This is similar to the Adult Check model.

Moreover and RSS headline syndication are marketing tools for the system ie headlines are free, stories are behind the gateway.

If a site does not join it will have to make its own payment gateway and will have more difficulty attracting the large mass of readers.

As for new market entrants, they cannot fund themselves effectively by advertising alone, so their products will be (generally) inferior to paid products.

It does not matter if a competitor decides to use their own payment gateway or has an existing gateway as the objective is to get ALL sites onto ANY kind of payment gateway.

The only problem is with sites that wish to remain free. But most sites would rather be part of a system that makes money than not make money at all.


 2:05 pm on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow, what a great thread.

My local newspaper is a JOKE, as is our local TV news. So I have no idea what's going on in my city, because I can't bear to muddle through the local media. Even the local web portal is pretty bad.

I used to shell out a lot of money to get some decent newspapers delivered ... Washington Post, New York Times, Guardian Weekly.

But that's an expensive habit to feed.

So now I read Washingtonpost.com and guardian.co.uk ... but NOT every day. At this point, I read online "news" (non-work-related) once or twice a week at most.

Interestingly enough, If I were asked to pay for online access to these papers, I'd switch back to paper subscriptions.

Tedster's comments about how the news is distorted are right on. And another complaint I'd have is about something that can never really be avoided - the bias. It really distresses me that I can learn more about what's going on in my own country (the US) from sources OUTSIDE my own country than my own newspapers.


 4:34 pm on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey, people pay a small fortune for cable television these days. They'll pay for Web content the same way, sooner or later. Many already pay when they subscribe through AOL, MSN, Yahoo etc., and their charges will increase as the content offered them grows. The age of digital multimedia is staring us in the face, and full-blown broadband services will be the order of the day any time now.

Ditch your cable TV bill, your newspapers and your magazines and spend that money getting the same information at a fraction the time, at your convenience, and select your entertainment, also at your convenience, and tell me you won't be willing to re-direct that money.

As for newspapers and magazines, a large part of their cost has to be printing and distributing the material. That all goes away with web publishing. So the providers of this information can operate with much lower costs as they kick the hard-copy habit. The demand for information won't go away, so the providers won't go belly up, they'll just adapt to the digital form and means of delivery and find that they can do it at a much better cost.


 5:37 pm on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

I fall under that 18-34 category and I would have to say that I spend more time at news sites online then I do watching FOX NEWS or the local news. The other night was a perfect example of why people are shifting where they go for news. 3 out of the 5 stories that was on a local station were about murders or rapes. Who wants to sit and watch something so depressing when you can go directly to the stories you want to read? Those things can't be ignored (murder and rape) but you shouldn't have to hear about them every night.


 7:39 pm on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Personally I found the article pretty accurate. I am in my 20s, except I usually get my news from sitting here working on the computer with CNN running on the tv in the background. I don't have that much time to go on-line or pick up a newspaper and read it.

I have to admit that I find the Daily Show entertaining if I am around when it is on. It is sickening how out of proportion the media can blow things before they even know what happens. Especially with all of the half witted 'professionals'. (The bubonic plague samples missing from a Texas university comes to mind)

The only time I go on-line to get the news is for local news because I can never time it right to catch it on TV and for the weather. In fact I used to have the local weather from the weather channel set as my home site until they started running an absurd amount of pop-up and pop-under ads that pursuaded me to make my new start page WW!


 8:27 pm on Feb 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey crisscross, welcome to another newspaper guy.

What do you mean you run the top news site in your region? Do you do the web programming, writting the stories, running the servers, and everything, or do you just post the news?

I am lucky. I just run the servers and do the web programming and the interface that allows the editors to post the news online. Database, server side scripting, XML, XHTML, the website look. But I must say there are 65 writers, editors, salesmen etc that give me a hand in getting out what is important: The News!

I have to disagree about nearly all news sites going to payed subscriptions. Few people are willing to pay for online news, something like 1/2 of 1%. It just does not really work. The money is in the banner advertising and selling such things as real estate (very hot for newspaper sites) and classifieds.

The fact is, web news is nothing like hardcopy newspapers. The newspaper industry is stuck thinking in the old way. Its a whole new thing and new methods must be developed to make it profitable.

This 55 message thread spans 2 pages: 55 ( [1] 2 > >
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