News organizations have been confronting the problem of a shrinking
audience for more than a decade, but trends strongly suggest that these
difficulties may only worsen over time. Today’s younger and middle-aged
audience seems unlikely to ever match the avid news interest of the
generations they will replace, even as they enthusiastically transition
to the Internet as their principal source of news.
Pew Research longitudinal surveys find that Gen Xers (33-47 years
old) and Millennials (18-31 years old), who spent less time than older
people following the news at the outset of their adulthood, have so far
shown little indication that that they will become heavier news
consumers as they age.
Notably, a 2012 Pew Research national poll found members of the
Silent generation (67-84 years old) spending 84 minutes watching,
reading or listening to the news the day before the survey interview.
Boomers (48-66 years old), did not lag far behind (77 minutes), but Xers
and Millennials spent much less time: 66 minutes and 46 minutes,
The truly troubling trend for the media is that Pew Research surveys
give little indication that news consumption increases among members of
the younger age groups as they get older.