Peters, Chris, Kim Christian Schrøder, Josephine Lehaff, & Julie Vulpius (2021, March). News as they know it: Young adults’ information repertoires in the digital media landscape. Digital Journalism. (ePub in advance of print) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2021.1885986)

Abstract: Despite an “audience turn” in journalism studies, confusion persists about the experiences driving audience engagement. Young adults are especially intriguing in this regard, as they have grown up in digital environments, are less willing to pay for journalism, and lack key historical catalysts for the formation of news habits. Accordingly, this article investigates the information repertoires of this group, using a mixed-method approach to focus upon the preferences and experiences of Danish youth, aged 18–24. Crafting an innovative research design integrating individual interviews, Q-sort methodology, and think aloud protocols, the article explores five repertoires: the online traditionalist, depth-seeking audiophile, digital news seeker, interpersonal networker, and non-news information seeker. In these repertoires, “traditional” journalistic media is often eschewed, while “new” media come to the fore. The paper also examines two analytical themes cutting across repertoires: a tension between the seamlessness of where news is (“platform newsiness”) versus how it is conceptualized (“traditional journalism”); and the guiding role of face-to-face communication and social networks when engaging with news. In sum, by exploring the formation of information repertoires at this crucial life stage, the article provides insights into a key demographic, whose practices and preferences shape the news industry’s ongoing sustainability.

Chris Peters <cpeters@ruc.dk> is in the Department of Communication & Arts, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark.

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