News & events

The under 35s: A World Without News

Newsworks’ Denise Turner writes for Mediatel about her presentation at its Future of Media event.

There are countless myths surrounding younger audiences and how to catch

their attention. Who are they? And what do they do in their spare time? One thing

is for certain, under 35s increasingly value and appreciate news.

At Mediatel’s Future of Media event I gave a presentation on the crucial role trusted journalism plays in the lives of under 35s and how this manifests itself in their behaviour.

Since the start of the pandemic, 77% of under 35s say that they value the importance of journalism more in our society, with 68% agreeing that a world without journalism would harm democracy.

Here is a snapshot of key facts and stats about the role under 35s play in our news ecosystem – advertisers take note.

The number one source of news content

Nearly 70% of under 35s agree that ‘I find myself checking the news whenever I get a spare moment in the day’, with many confirming that news brands are their number one source of news content on social media.

News impacts people’s plans, with 75% saying that ‘I check the news to know if there is anything happening that will affect my plans later’ and half saying that they wouldn’t leave the house without first checking the news.

Due to the rise of misinformation and fake news, many are scrutinising what they read and as a result, are turning to news brands as a trusted source. This is particularly

apparent amongst under 35-year- olds, with 73% saying that they feel less anxious when they read a news brand than reading content on social media.

Amongst some, news has become a coping mechanism during the past year, with 67% agreeing that news brands have helped them to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Interestingly, we found that they are forming new habits thanks to the introduction of news aggregators such as Apple News and Google News. This has made 69% of young- er readers value news brands more and 64% agreeing that it has made them take more notice of news brands.

Curiosity, ambitions and relationships

Partly brought on by the use of news aggregators giving them an insight into a variety of news brands, 74% of young readers agree ‘I like to read different newspapers so that I understand all the different opinions.’

This connection with others is clear, with 61% feeling that ‘when I haven’t read the news, I feel like I’m cut-off from other people’.

Younger readers are also turning to news brands more than anything else when they want to improve their understanding of something. This is a notably different trend in comparison to the over 35-year-olds who would, at first, turn to TV.

News brands not only educate but also spark curiosity, with news sources ranked second, in encouraging people to find out more, after social media.

In addition to turning to news to im- prove their understanding of various subjects, they also use news brands to get ahead. 72% of under 35s agree that ‘keeping up with news can help you to get ahead in your career’.

Why should advertisers take note?

News brands present advertisers with a trusted environment that can capture the hearts and minds of consumers and fuels their curiosities, ambitions and relationships with others.

In fact, when people under 35 read news brands, they are four times more likely to say that it ‘made me change my behaviour’, than those who are older.

The data I’ve used comes from a recent study we undertook at News- works called ‘World Without News’ that explores the role of news brands in a contemporary landscape.


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