One finding in the most recent State of the News Media report didn’t sit right with Katy Pape, an intern with NPR’s research department:
23% of people aged 18-24 reported reading a newspaper yesterday. As a Millennial myself, I was slightly skeptical. Were these 18-24 year olds just confused about what a newspaper is?
Pape pulled the raw data, and looked at the questions respondents were asked “so I could be sure that Millennials were not mistaking ‘noticing a pile of newspapers at Starbucks’ for ‘reading a newspaper.’ ” (If research doesn’t work out, Katy, you might want to give blogging a go!)
“They were specifically reminded that neither electronic copies nor the newspaper’s website count as printed paper. Neither does a tablet or mobile device,” she reports. They really were handling and reading newspapers. They weren’t heavy readers; 22 percent of the Gen-Y’ers polled read a paper at least every other day, compared with 40 percent of all adults. But again: Young people. Touching print. Are you listening, Megan Fox?