Millenials don’t do it, either


Just a few of the many things that caught my eye recently:

I read the Wall Street Journal and Sunday New York Times in print and the Monday-through-Saturday NYTimes online.
The Sunday Times is an old habit (is that redundant?) dating back to  being born in Connecticut’s Fairfield County and having lived on the East Coast half my life.
I particularly like the WSJ’s Arena section on Friday, and the Review and Off Duty sections on Saturday.
Sometimes, however, I wonder whether those sections, among others, have had my demographic in mind for, well, for decades.
Turns out I’m not alone — and not just in my age group.
Seems like both papers’ coverage of  out-of-reach lifestyles might be alienating young readers, too, according to the Columbia Journalism Review.
Millennials, you see, carry record amounts of student loan debt and, equally important, are members of the first generation likely to not make more than their parents. So stories about $14 million condos in New York City and $3,000 scarfs are far from relevant. In fact, they might just be turning off readers more than attracting them.
Stories about affluent lifestyles can be aspirational and provoke a curiosity about how the 1 percent live. But journalism professor and researcher Nikki Usher argues that many of these young readers are likely more interested in things like how they’re going to afford their first home, meet their next loan payment and how to be a good Wegmans shopper.

Somewhat related: The Pew Research Center reports that 24 percent of teens go online “almost constantly.” Oh — and social media is dominated by girls. But you knew that already, right?

It’s an evolution: Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron on journalism’s transition from print to digital: “Start by discarding the lingering notion that paper will remain for long a big part of what we do. It will not.”
Matthew Ingram’s response: “The forces of change that have been disrupting and transforming the media industry for the past decade or so aren’t something that can be argued with, or reasoned with, or held at bay through the powers of persuasion.”
I would add: Why do I always want to call Baron Marty? Why exactly are we still talking about this? It’s always been a NEWSpaper, not a newsPAPER, so idling on the platform — paper — was never a place to linger once we all started playing with Marc Andresson‘s Netscape browser in 1993. NewsPAPERS made it hard on themselves, however, by forgetting what they were really about: the news. And the news, as we know, keeps happening. As for just how long “the forces of change” (sounds like something from a “Star Wars” movie) have been changing things, well, Johannes Gutenberg wasn’t born yesterday, y’know?

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