Consuming media – is my generation even reading newspapers?

Girl (6-8) carrying bundle of newspapers, smiling, portrait

As the internship coordinator for the Connecticut office of my firm, Co-Communications, I’ve interviewed a number of candidates. The one question I always ask no matter what?

“What kind of media do you consume?”

I’ve received a variety of answers and I consider myself fortunate to have never heard, “um, I don’t really read or watch the news…”

So why is this such an important question for intern and job candidates? The type of media consumed by an individual can be very indicative of how they might function with a specific type of client (I‘m not saying it‘s the end all, be all).

Let’s be honest, when I was in college, the main media I was consuming was Us Weekly to give my brain an “entertainment” and “ooh pretty pictures” break from my academic texts. I was also very busy and never able to watch that much television news. I now handle a variety of clients but a large portion of my work is done with real estate. Did I read Real Estate Weekly prior to working at my job? No. Would it have helped? It could not have hurt, right?

Generation Y has plenty of stereotypes. One association we most likely cannot part from? We are the Facebook Kids (and Google, and MySpace, etc.). So, is social media the only media Gen Y is soaking up? Nahh (please, nahh?). But I’m sure it’s a large portion.

My point? Consume media. Soak it up. Yes, I learned about the plane crash in the Hudson and Tiger’s infidelity via Twitter. But I’m also sure to keep on top of my reading of traditional print and watch television news shows. It’s my job as a PR professional!

So where do you fit in and what are your thoughts? Are you a young professional who relies primarily on social media for your news and information? Are you an experienced professional who sees a drop in the consumption of traditional media from where it “once was?” Can we as Generation Y prove otherwise?

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  • Katie, interesting post…and something I've been thinking about quite a lot lately which led to an experiment I'm currently conducting: 365 days without newspapers.

    Why, to see if my view of the world changes (and impacts on my ability as PR consultant).

    Full details of the experiment at


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  • I hate reading print. I'm sorry, I am, but it's just a frustrating process for me. I wrote a little blog about trying to read the print version of the NYT for a few weeks here:

    It was like Adam's experiment but backwards!

  • britt624

    Kate I totally agree with all the work I get and being out until after 9 some nights, keeping up with the news is very hard. I try to read articles on MSNBC and CNN when I get a chance. Also following their accounts on Twitter helps me so I don't have to always go through their site to find news.

  • laurenfernandez

    Gen Y is a product of their environment – I was encouraged to read the newspaper and watch the news from a very young age. Therefore, I get made fun of a lot for still reading the NYT in print. 🙂

    It's a habit for me and comfort zoneish. People are creatures of habit, and do what makes sense to them. If you grow up in a front of a computer, you might prefer to read it on the web. I like the feel of a newspaper, but I also know that the ease of online makes it pretty tempting.

    Good post Kate!

  • melissaharris

    I grew up reading the physical paper but now I get all of my news online – either via Twitter or online news sites/ papers. I honestly don't really like the smell of newsprint either. If I am home in time I'll watch the network evening news but I have just about lost my tolerance for local news because it is so filled with non-news and is just a joke. I do love magazines though and will never tire of curling up with a brand new, glossy publication. I know older generations balk at the fact that I don't read the physical paper everyday, but I feel like I have a better grasp of what is going on than many who only read the paper or watch the news on tv.

  • I read amNY

  • stephmajercik

    Great post Kate. While at school, I thrive on getting my news from the Internet, Twitter, and Facebook. I find when I'm at home on break that I take more time out of the day to read the newspaper, watch the evening news and really learn more about what is going on. I like getting my news from the web just because it is more accessible on an everyday basis, but I do appreciate the print versions once in awhile too.