> Cape Town, South Africa, 3 June 2007
> For immediate release
> How Young People Use Media: Youth DNA Study Measures Trends
> Young people perceive traditional media as more accurate, trustworthy and
> reliable than new media, but many get most of their news and information
> from another source entirely -- family and friends.
> That is one of the key responses from 10 innovative focus groups of young
> people in 10 countries that is part of a major research project on how
> people get their news.
> The goal of the research was to have young people from around the world
> confirm or challenge hypotheses regarding their media usage habits and
> attitudes. The insights will be used to guide the next phase of Youth
> DNA, a quantitative study in which 1,000 youths between 15 and 29
> will be surveyed in every country that participates in the study.
> "Most participants still value more traditional media sources and formats,
> because they are perceived as being more accurate, reliable and
> trustworthy," said Robert Barnard, founder and partner of the Canada-based
> research consultancy D-code, which is conducting the research for the
> Association of Newspapers.
> At the same time, however, "many participants in this phase listed
> 'discussion with friends' as a top source for news and information,
> sometimes ranking higher than TV or newspapers. In particular, social
> networks appear to be key in spreading entertainment news for most young
> "Although information gathered from family and friends may not be
> young people appear to trust family and friends much more than media
> sources," said Mr Barnard, who added that the reasons for this phenomenon
> will be the subject of the next phase of research.
> The research released today, during a seminar on the eve of the World
> Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum in Cape Town, South Africa
> (http://www.wan-press.org/capetown2007 ), is a preliminary phase in a
> WAN research project called Youth Media DNA to help newspaper companies
> develop better strategies for reaching young readers. The study is part of
> the WAN Young Reader Development Project, supported by Norske Skog, the
> Norway-based international paper manufacturer.
> D-Code recruited 100 young people, 15 to 24 years-old, in Colombia, Japan,
> the Philippines, Lebanon, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, United States and United
> Kingdom, to document their media habits and discuss their attitudes
> news and newspaper readership. This was done through one-on-one long
> interviews, on-line discussions, and media diaries.
> While the exploratory phase was not designed to draw conclusions about
> readers globally, it is enough to explore participant reactions to the
> hypotheses, which have implications for future news delivery and
> and can help newspapers better understand how to reach young people. The
> hypotheses include:
> - Are young people are getting news and information from many media
> "Many participants said that they feel uncomfortable trusting a single
> authoritative source -- even among those that they rely upon on a regular
> basis," the report said. The use of multiple sources and formats is true
> only for the formats they use, but also for the news brands they are loyal
> - Is interest in 'passive' forms of media (radio, TV, etc.), waning as
> people want to interact with -- and contribute content to -- news media?
> "Despite the stated preferences for the internet as a news and information
> source, and the growing interest in personal devices that facilitate
> journalism, most participants still value more traditional media sources
> formats, because they are perceived as being more accurate, reliable and
> trustworthy," the report said.
> - Are young people spending less time with traditional media and more with
> new media?
> "Young participants said that usage of new media (i.e., computers, mobile
> phones, the internet, and MP3 players) is increasingly taking up time
> participants would have spent with traditional media, though this time is
> obviously restricted in countries where the digital divide remains a
> barrier," the report said. "Despite this, many participants say they would
> like to spend more time with newspapers and other traditional sources of
> "Contrary to stereotype, many young participants remained respectful of
> traditional information sources and few dismiss them as obsolete."
> - Is the biggest competition for news and information in the future the
> young people themselves and their social networks?
> "Feedback from participants in this phase listed 'discussion with friends'
> as a top source for news and information, sometimes ranking higher than TV
> or newspapers," the report said. "In particular, social networks appear to
> be key in spreading entertainment news for most young people.
> "In future research, it will be interesting to probe deeper about the
> of how news and information are shared through social networks. Although
> information gathered from family and friends may not be accurate, young
> people appear to trust family and friends much more than media sources.
> does this appear to be the case? What topics are more appropriate for this
> kind of relationship?"
> "Are free newspapers driving curiosity in news and inspiring youth to dig
> "This issue appears to be key to the development of future strategies on
> youth newspaper readership," the report said. "Free commuter newspapers
> common to most young participants around the world and the consensus is
> they drive curiosity in news and information. Overall, most participants
> said they read paid newspapers more frequently than free newspapers. Many
> respondents said that free commuter newspapers are well-suited for travel
> and from school and work, while paid newspapers are more likely to be read
> at home."
> The full report can be found at http://www.wan-press.org/article14281.html
> (download from bottom of the page).
> The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry,
> represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 77 national
> associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in
> countries, 12 news agencies and 10 regional and world-wide press groups.
> Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications, WAN, 7 rue
> St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42
> 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
Youth Media Consulting GbR
c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
Bergstr. 8 / 11th floor
D-45770 Marl - Germany
The YPMN is supported by UNICEF and hosted by the ECMC.
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