Mobile Devices, Millennials & News

In today’s society, mobile devices have become essential to everyday life. According to, 87 percent of millennials claim their phones never leave their side. With all the applications and programs designed specifically for phones, news has become easier to access for this generation. But are they taking advantage of this easy access to current affairs?


According to International Business Times, one in five millennials receive their news exclusively through mobile devices. Much discussion and handwringing has revolved around whether or not millennials are paying attention to the news because they don’t visit traditional sources. But according to a collaborative survey conducted by the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and dubbed the Media Insight Project, millennials are more tuned in then they are getting credit for. The survey found that 69 percent report getting news at least once a day. What’s more, social media is actually helping them compile a diverse range of viewpoints with 70 percent reporting that they mix views other than their own into their feeds. Finally 40 percent are paying for one specific news-related service or app.


Even though millennials are paying attention to the world around them, their levels of awareness differ. The Media Insight Project divided millennial news consummation into four groups or types—Explorers (16 percent), Activists (23 percent), Distracted (27 percent) and Unattached (34 percent). The two largest groups, the Distracted and Unattached, are characterized by the fact that they often “bump into” news via social media and are less likely to pay for that content. The other two categories, Explorers and Activists, as their names imply, make more of an effort to seek out news content and are even willing to pay for that information.

Studying how millennials are interacting with the outside world provides valuable insight into how to reach this demographic as it comes to dominate the economy. Now that they are out numbering the last financial juggernaut that was the baby boomers (75.4 million), the 83.1 million millennials will be steering the ship for years to come as we adapt to how they interact with the world.