Americans are avid news consumers, but different generations get their news from various sources.
- 79% of Gen Z and Millennials get news daily, while 96% report doing so at least weekly, according to a study by the American Press Institute.
- Social media is the primary news source for 16 to 24-year-olds, while older millennials are more likely to rely on traditional news sources such as newspapers and TV news.
- The driving news platforms for Gen Z are TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, according to the study.
Why it’s news
As social media has gained momentum over the last few years, younger Americans have become avid news consumers as the information is more accessible. Younger generations tend to get their news from social media, while older generations consume news traditionally by newspaper or television.
Gen Z and younger millennials are more likely to consume news from social media, with 71% obtaining news from these platforms at least daily and 91% at least weekly, according to the American Press study.
Some 44% of Gen Zs report never receiving news and information from traditional sources, compared with 35% of younger millennials and 31% of older millennials.
Along with traditional news media, older generations also opted for Google to ask questions and obtain news, but that trend is slowing down with Gen Z. The younger generation has begun to use TikTok and other social media platforms to search questions and watch videos related to topics, similar to Google.
In February of this year, 14% of Gen Z adults reported using TikTok to start researching a significant news event, significantly higher than the share of all adults (2%) saying the same, according to Morning Consult.
Although TikTok is the driving force for news for many of the younger Gen Z members, 39% of Gen Z adults 39% still report that Google search is where they begin gathering information about a major news event. In February, 14% of Gen Zs said TikTok is where they start researching major news events, compared with just 1% of all other generations who said the same.
While many older adults still opt for typical publications and their adjoining websites, the significant skew to social media has caused many large publications to start reporting their news on TikTok and other apps to reach the younger crowd.
As more people begin to consume their news from social media, primarily TikTok, it sheds more light on why the U.S. is attempting to ban the Chinese-owned app.
U.S. regulators have been calling for a ban on TikTok due to the app’s ties with China. The Chinese company ByteDance owns TikTok, and many regulators fear that China is using the app to access American information and spread false information on the app.
As more American consumers choose to consume their information on TikTok and other social media apps, the spread of false information could be dangerous as more people see the information and believe it to be true.