Newscoma Has Moved
Friday, September 22, 2006
  Newspapers And The Internet And this is something anyone in news is watching very carefully. Well, some of us anyway.
Half of all high school students get news online at least once a week, but teens rate TV the easiest-to-use news source — and the most accurate, says a study out Friday.

In the Future of the First Amendment study, which surveyed 14,498 students and 882 teachers at 34 high schools last spring, 45% of teens say TV is the best overall source of news, 44% think it's the most accurate and 43% think it's the easiest to use. Only 28% of teachers thought TV was the best news source, a distant second to newspapers' 48%.

Findings show 90% of students were at least somewhat interested in current events; 51% get news online once a week or more.

Of those who get news online, ease of use may be a factor. While 66% get news from sites such as Google, Microsoft, AOL or Yahoo at least weekly, only 21% get it weekly from national newspaper sites.

"The Internet is part of the basket kids reach for to get their news," says study co-author David Yalof. The percentage of students who routinely get news from media websites, online publications and blogs may be small, but the survey shows students go to "a patchwork quilt of sources," he says.

But findings hold hope for newspapers, or at least their websites.

Thirty years ago, teens didn't read newspapers at all, picking up the habit only in their 20s or 30s, says Jeffrey Cole of the Center for the Digital Future at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Today's teens care more about news than teens in the past, because kids have figured out that what happens halfway around the world can affect their lives, he says. "The fact that teens rate television highly simply reflects that newspapers and newsmagazines aren't part of their life offline."

They may never pick up newspapers in adulthood, but when they get older they will gravitate more toward online sites of respected news sources, he says.

And this may explain a lot, if you are in the rural newspaper biz.

I read newspapers and watched TV news at an early age. My grandfather used to read every word of the morning paper and I sort of picked up on that. That article points out I'm the exception to the rule.

Newspapers (big and small) are feeling the winds of change. New media, new habits. Everything evolves, I guess, and so will newspapers, local radio, evening network TV news, etc.

I do like knowing that today's youth is more interested in what's happening in their world. I just hope it's just not all about Paris Hilton.
Agreed, Mr. Stovel.
My "R" key has been sticking.
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