Saturday, November 8, 2008

Going Newsless

People don't read the newspaper as much as they used to. Nor do they watch as much TV news.

But wait! There's the Internet! We're saved!

Despite a growth in the ways to find out what's happening in the world, the proportion of young people who get no news has grown. Among 18-24 year olds, the proportion who went newsless increased from 1998 to 2008, from 25 to 34 percent. That's a scary number. From what was one-quarter of young people going newsless has grown to one-third of young people.

What's worse -- they're not alone.

Nearly every age group shows a growth in no news, all except the 50-64 year olds. Thank goodness for that brilliant and stunning age group.

The growth in online news consumption is not making up the difference. Not in time spent, and for struggling news organizations, not in advertising dollars either.

So when we ask what people know, the answer may turn out to be -- not a helluva lot.

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