Young Americans care about the news, honestly they do, but their discovery path typically winds through social media feeds, not through newspapers, news sites, or televised news coverage. That is one of the major conclusions of a new report on Millennial media habits, which finds that 80 percent of young people get their news from online sources, and social networks are replacing network news as the daily touchstone for current affairs.
Nearly 90 percent of young people get news from Facebook regularly, but less than half say that news is their main motivation for visiting Facebook's site or app. (Nor is news the primary purpose for Millennials on Twitter, even though Twitter is a popular destination for journalists and news junkies.) This suggests that much of the news “discovery” on Facebook and Twitter isn’t as purposeful as seeking news about Congress in the New York Times or looking up baseball scores on ESPN.com. Instead, it suggests that news discovery is becoming more like an occasional accident.
"People have always discovered news events partly by accident, by word-of-mouth, or by bumping into it while watching TV news or listening to the radio, and then turning to other sources to learn more,” the authors of the American Press Institute's report write. There have always been purely passive news consumers, who might hear bits and pieces of current affairs as they scan the radio.