Paula Poindexter, a journalism school professor at The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication has a new book, Millennials, News, and Social Media: Is News Engagement a Thing of the Past?, that analyzes the relationship between millennials and the media. Her main finding: young people have little-to-no regard for the news. Specifically, they describe the media as “boring,” “biased,” and “garbage.” Dang!
Perhaps more importantly, her research shows that millennials don’t see the importance of being informed (though they are using their mobile devices to access news when they decide to check in).
“We can’t continue to ignore the problem. The older generation is dying out. Who will be the role model encouraging future generations to be informed?” Poindexter said in a press statement available on JimRomenesko.com, which is also collecting comments on this topic on its Facebook page.
Black millennials specifically have a negative view of the news media, and are “at least six times more likely than whites, Asians and Hispanics” to give it a failing “F” grade. She told the Maynard Institute, which is dedicated to improving diversity in newsrooms and news coverage, that young African Americans don’t think the media is concerned with reporting on their generation, and frequently depict them in a negative light.
For her book, Poindexter surveyed 1,000 adults over the age of 18. Eighteen percent were millennials, and she included participants between the ages of 13 and 17 in that group. The number of participants here seems a tad too small for us, but based on other media data we’ve looked at over the past months, it sounds pretty familiar. Diversity of all kinds needs to be enhanced across the media. Without a doubt, media organizations would see a marked improvement in the depth and breadth of their coverage if newsrooms were more reflective of the world we live in.
If you are a millennial looking for coverage geared to your generation, TechCrunch has been following the launch of #waywire, a new media platform launched and co-created by Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker (love him!) with financial backers like Oprah. That first link will take you to a video of the Mayor talking about the site.