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This is an excellent companion piece to our latest episode, digging into the findings from the latest Digital News Report. The key finding from this deep dive into young people’s habits around news exposes a key concern with news orgs’ plans to reach them – that social natives ≠ digital natives. The way in which younger audiences think about news sources is fundamentally different from the way publications seek to reach people.
“Under-35s are less interested than older groups in what they consider to be ‘the news’ — traditional beats like politics, international, or Covid-19 news — and are more interested in a broader array of ‘news’ umbrella topics, including entertainment and celebrity, education, and fun news.”
That might go some way to explaining why young people lag when it comes to paying for news – because the news content they crave is separately from what our industry considers to be ‘news’. Combine that with a rise in news avoidance among younger audiences and we have a potential problem around subscribers a little way down the line.
The 404 account is a first-of-its-kind team is offering “views, vibes, and commentary.” There has to be a place for this kind of experimentation and I’m glad to see it – but you can already see the Sword of Damocles hanging over this initiative just waiting for the next round of cuts…
While Peter’s been gallivanting around in Cannes I’ve been looking at the big news stories elsewhere. Of particular note for our audience are Meta being told by the Department of Justice to build a discrimination-free ad algorithm within six months (good luck with that one) and Acast partnering with Meta for podcast integration.
And finally a reminder that journalism does serve the public good – for the most part. Sometimes. Watergate is probably the best-known story of journalism holding power to account, and is the north star for a lot of political journalists. Nice to remember it 50 years on – and what journalism can achieve.
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