According to Pew Research polling, news doesn’t travel the way it used to when it comes to younger voters. For television news, considered to be the most widely consumed form of news consumption, there is a 41-point disparity between those who get their news from that medium in the youngest and oldest polling demographics.
Why It Matters: As the next generation continues to age into the electorate, their natural news consumption habits will become more important to the goal of reaching and persuading voters. In fact, the way these voters consume news likely will change the way campaigns approach earned media and content distribution in the next several years.
It should be of no great surprise that digital platforms, particularly social media, have seen a meteoric rise as vehicles for news consumption across all demographics. The Pew study shows the major gap that exists across generations in where Americans get their news, and gives some hints for what might (and possibly should) come next.
By The Numbers:
Where’s The News: With 91% of young adults reporting that they consume news via digital platforms, a recent Harvard Institute of Politics survey of these voters tells where their news is coming from on a regular basis. At the top of the list for digital platforms is YouTube, with 35%. Instagram clocks in at second most widely read with 29% accessing the platform for news regularly. Facebook and TikTok tie for 3rd among the digital media outlets for news consumption.
The Bottom Line: While the political minds of yesterday discounted burgeoning social media as being unimportant to campaigning and more a vanity project than a tool, social media’s staying power is showing through, and isn’t going anywhere. The GOP and its candidates should invest in developing effective earned media dissemination and voter persuasion strategies that allow them to meet the next generation of voters where they get their news. The old media playbook has an expiration date and its coming soon.