FEATURE1 February 2023

Need to know: Young people’s perceptions of news are changing

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Increased scepticism and awareness of self care are shaping how young people think about news in three different countries, qual commissioned by the Reuters Institute has found. By Katie McQuater

In 1981, French sociologist Jean Baudrillard wrote: “We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.”

The information economy has exploded since the advent of social media. No longer are audiences solely reliant on traditional news sources such as newspapers and TV – the media landscape has become fragmented, with multiple potential sources of information, from TikTok to podcasts.

Whether this influx of information has resulted in less meaning is up for debate, and worthy of its own analysis. What is clear, however, is that within this busy media environment – once you factor in the rise of misinformation, growing awareness of wellbeing and a recognition of the need for finely tuned critical thinking – you have patterns of news consumption that look quite different from how they did a few years ago, particularly for younger people.

For the past decade, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism ...