Facebook has emerged as a key source of news for young adults. National Journal

If you're between the ages of 18 and 34, chances are you're reading this on a smartphone and that you got here through Facebook.

According to a new study that looks at how millennials access news, the social-networking site has emerged as the dominant news portal for young adults across all ethnicities. The survey, conducted by the Media Insight Project, found that 81 percent of millennials find news and information on Facebook at least once a week.

Yet, there are some differences in the ways that blacks, Latinos, and whites access and digest news. Whites say they primarily use Facebook to connect with their friends. Latinos and African Americans see the site more as a way to get information about news events.

While young people across all ethnicities use Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, and Tumblr to get news at about the same rates, YouTube and Instagram are more popular among Latinos and African Americans.

(Related article: "46 States Saw Young White Population Decline")

There are also differences in the ways these three ethnic groups spend their time online. Latinos are less likely than whites to play games or pursue hobbies online. African-American millennials are about twice as likely as whites and Latinos to follow pop culture. Blacks are three times as likely as whites and twice as likely as Latinos to follow news about style, beauty, and fashion. Whites and Latinos are somewhat more likely to follow news about technology, the environment, and foreign affairs.

81 percent of millennials find news and information on Facebook at least once a week.

While whites and Latinos are most likely to follow traffic and weather, African Americans are most likely to follow crime and public safety. As the report notes, the data was collected in January and February of 2015, when officer-involved shootings of young black men were dominating media coverage. African Americans are also more likely to follow news about schools and education.

The study, which aimed to understand whether the ways the first digital generation finds and accesses information online "are extending or blurring the differences between races and ethnic groups," found more similarities than differences.

Latino and black adults under the age of 35 are as digitally connected as whites, and they are just as likely to have paid news subscriptions as millennials in general.

(Read about how millennials are also making job-hunting more digital.)

When it comes to news, the study shows that the so-called "digital divide" between people of color and their white peers has not developed. And yet, the study points to a 2014 report noting that "the promise that the web would offer underserved communities more diverse content had not been realized," either.

Latino and black adults under the age of 35 are as digitally connected as whites, and they are just as likely to have paid news subscriptions as millennials in general.

Some of that likely has to do with the fact that the people authoring that content remain overwhelmingly white. In 2014, people of color made up just 13.3 percent of daily newspaper journalists and 22 percent of television reporters, despite the fact that people of color make up nearly 40 percent of the population.

As a 2013 Atlantic article noted, that homogeneity has consequences when it comes to what gets reported.

"Fewer minorities are getting the opportunity to work in news, and news organizations are losing their ability to empower, represent, and—especially in cases where language ability is crucial— even to report on minority populations in their communities," wrote Riva Gold.

(Like being on Facebook? We asked, "Will your Facebook friends make you a credit risk?")

Ultimately, the report finds some notable differences in the way African Americans, Latinos, and whites access news. But the broader point is that social-networking sites like Facebook and YouTube are gaining popularity as points of access for news while fewer young people are going to news sites directly.

So, dear millennial Facebook reader, go forth and share. We're all counting on you.

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