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Fodder for Thought

My Generation Gets More News From Internet

The news and information source pendulum is swinging away from traditional media and toward internet but some are still not connecting.


Information and news is consumed voraciously everyday by millions and the primary sources of that news are changing.

The avenues still include television, radio, newspaper, but increasingly the internet.

As a journalist, I personally make it a point to stay current on pertinent issues related to topics I write about and have interest in. Like many others in the millennial generation (18-29 years old), I accomplish this through the many social networks I am a member of, the e-newsletters I subscribe to, the blogs I follow, and the online news websites I frequent.

I have noticed over the years my time spent watching television has dwindled to almost zilch. I read and subscribe to fewer and fewer print publications. I'm also more likely to listen to my own custom-created playlist than the radio.

If you are also a millennial you may find you have similar habits.

The fact is our culture and society is evolving in a very important way – how we search for and receive information.  This shift in information consumption between different generations was noted in a 2010 Pew Research Center survey that showed for the first time the internet had surpassed television as the main source of national and international news for people younger than 30.

Since 2007 the number of millennials citing the internet as their main source for information had nearly doubled from 34% to 65%, while the number citing television as their main source dropped from 68% to 52%. These numbers don't add up because the respondents were allowed to choose more than one top source. Still, it shows the huge movement toward internet sourcing.

Marketers, educational institutions and all types of media sources have already began adjusting to these trends by changing the way the share information. Businesses are seeing value in maintaining a social media presence, realizing that it is no longer a matter of choice but of necessity.

Still, I notice there are outliers, businesses, publications and other entities sitting on the fence, apparently wondering whether this new way of disseminating information is really worth their time. Their hesitation could be due to many reasons but I suspect it is mostly caused by unfamiliarity or fear of a new idea or concept. I believe they really are missing out on a gold mine of opportunity.

My generation, the millennial young producers of today, are hungry for information. We want to learn. However, if it is not available to us in the form that we most commonly frequent we may never know about it.

I will leave you with an example and allow you to ponder this for yourself.

Some of you may be familiar with Ranching For Profit, however I am betting that a large percentage of my generation has never even heard of this innovative week-long business school designed for the livestock industry.

I have on more than one occasion mentioned this school in conversation whether it be in-person or via social media with others in my age group. Sadly most have no idea what I’m talking about.

Why is that? Well, I’m not so sure. Ranching for Profit has a Facebook Page, they post impressive testimonial and educational videos on their YouTube channel and frequently share valuable posts on their ranch management blog. Yet, for some strange reason, this valuable resource that would benefit so many in my generation remains elusive.

Is this a case of ineffective marketing? Maybe it is just a lack of communication. Whatever it is, it’s not just this one example. There are many other valuable messages from individuals and groups that are going unheard by those who need to hear them most – the future of our industry.

It is imperative we find a solution to this miscommunication. Without one, valuable information will continue to go unnoticed and ultimately lost.

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