News Consumption by Age Groups


During the 20th century, television and radio became major means of news transmission. This is illustrated in Figure 4. This graph provides a detailed breakdown of news consumption by age groups.

News relates to information that is not known before. It may be a recent event or a historical one. The type of information reported is important to the reader. Generally, stories are selected for their impact.

News that is factual can be proven by objective evidence. People with a high degree of political awareness are better able to distinguish whether a statement is fact or opinion.

For the study, respondents were asked to classify statements about news as fact or opinion. The question wording was designed to ensure that the respondents would not be treating the task as a knowledge quiz.

The Pew Research Center recently surveyed 5,035 adults about their news consumption. The results show that a majority of Americans consume some news on TV and the Internet. The ratio of TV to online news is roughly two to one, with a maximum of seven to one for 18- to 24-year-olds.

The study also revealed that younger viewers tend to prefer late night comedy shows. This indicates that the line between professional and amateur media is blurring. During the same time period, evening news shows ranked third for all age groups.

This suggests that people prefer to consume the news in a more digestible form. For example, a reporter may report an event in his own words, whereas an editorial develops an argument about an issue.