NPR: Millennials know what newspapers are, have touched them


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?

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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