Millennials and the News

Posted by: Julie Ray

From our research, we know that Millennials are a completely digital generation. They were the first cohort born with the Internet and most of the generation can’t remember a time without their cellphones and reality TV. However, as the digital age is continuing to shape and reform our views on marketing and economic expansion, it is important to remember where it all originated.

Our ideas of traditional media have completely changed over the past decade, but are the days of newspapers and magazines really over? Let’s take a look at how Millennials are reading the news and staying up-to-date in a digital age.

Traditional media


It is no secret that Millennials are the top contributors to social media content on a daily basis. However, research shows that they still see newspapers as the most credible source when reading the news. A study released by the Newspaper Association of America found that 60 percent of Millennials who read their local paper believe it to be trustworthy. Additionally, of the Millennials that do read the paper on a weekly basis, 68 percent of those aged 18-24 and 75 percent of those aged 25-34 have a positive reaction to advertisements they see. Most of the newspaper content Millennials come in contact with is online. This allows Millennials to share, like and re-post articles in a blended form of traditional and print media. 

Social Media

FacebookNewsAccording to a study released by YPulse, 68 percent of the 500 Millennials who participated in the survey said they receive most of their news information from Twitter. This was closely followed by word-of-mouth (63%) and news websites (62%). Millennials value social media as a way to connect with others beyond their immediate networks. Many Millennials follow news stations and newspapers on Twitter and Facebook and believe that the information they get from these outlets is reliable. Roughly half of all U.S. adults on Facebook every month are using the site to read news articles. For this reason, news resources are finding digital ways to connect and share information with Millennials.

It is apparent that with every study out there proving a point, another exists proving the opposite. This brings us to the question, how can brands harness Millennial appreciation for traditional media with the drive for digital connections?

1. Create a multi-media platform

Include social media outlets in the traditional media package. Although print media still has a strong connection to Millennials, digital is quickly taking over.

2. Appeal to what your viewership likes best

If it becomes apparent that print media is not driving traffic to a brand site or increasing sales then go digital. There is no shame in changing traditional tactics of engagement.

3. Make it relevant to daily life

The first lesson in any journalism class is to write something that is timely. However, stories shouldn’t just be timely, they should also be relevant. Any content written must draw the Millennial eye because it relates to them in some way.

 Leah Swartz contributed to this post. 

Photo Credit: Flickr via The West End and Facebook via CNN.

About Julie Ray

Julie Ray is Public Relations graduate of Northwest Missouri State University. She comes to the Millennial Marketing team with 4 years of marketing and advertising account management experience. Currently she is attending the University of...See Julie's full bio.