Study: Most US Teens, Young Adults Don’t Follow The News Closely

By: E&P Staff

Harvard University has released a study that concludes that 60 percent of American teenagers pay little attention to daily news, Reuters reports.

After interviewing 1,800 people from January through March, researchers at Harvard?s John F. Kennedy School of Government found that 28 percent of Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 said they pay ?almost no attention? to daily news. Another 32 percent told researchers that they pay ?casual attention? to only one news source on a daily basis.

Among Americans aged 18 to 30, researchers found that 48 percent said they are ?inattentive? to daily news. Comparatively, only 23 percent of older Americans said the same.

The poll, which had a margin of error of 2 percent to 3 percent, suggested that younger Americans may pay less attention to news because only one in 20 respondents claimed to ?rely heavily? on a daily newspaper.

Additionally, the spread of soft news about pop culture is considered to have lured away young readers from hard news stories on politics and global events.

Even though the Internet is the preferred way for teenagers and young adults to receive the news, the poll found that Web-based news services received about the same attention from adults as younger readers.

Thomas Patterson, a professor of government and the press at the J.F.K. School of Government, told Reuters that, ?It is hard to pick up a newspaper and ignore that there is a front page, but with the Internet it is easy to play games or conduct a search without seeing news.

?On the Internet, you have to make a deliberate choice to go somewhere and we are finding that young people are not making an appointment with news.?

Television news appears to be more popular among the younger age brackets, the Harvard poll found; teenagers and young adults are twice as likely to watch television for their daily news. However, older Americans are found to be more devoted toward their viewing of televised news.

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