Mind the Gap: Where does Gen Z get their news? (2024)

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CURATED READS FOR GEN Z—AND THEIR Z-CURIOUS COLLEAGUES

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first up

Where do you get your news? I get mine from a whirlwind of my favorite digital-newspaper home pages, a couple of podcasts, and the clickbait headlines from my feeds. And of course, push notifications sharing all the news that’s fit to blast.

These days, we’re more connected than ever—Europe has gained 100 million digital users since 2019, 80 to 90 percent of people in the Middle East have a smartphone, and the US is spending $100 billion to bring access to high-speed internet to every household—so it’s no wonder Gen Z expects instant updates on news and culture.

Surveys have found the following:

At least 50 percent of Gen Zers see news on social media daily.

Up to 15 percent of people aged 18–24 regularly get their news from TikTok.

Of teens who follow news, 66 percent say they get most of it from push notifications.

Gen Z news isn’t just cold, hard facts; it includes quick briefings and video spoofs that play on current memes. The internet has changed how sources spread stories, because the audience is networked too—a lot of the news you consume might be what your friends decided to repost.

(Our emotional responses also shape how we share: while the bad news gets blasted on major channels, more positive news is often passed from person to person.)

Gen Zers also see a difference between the news and news: the news is serious business, while news can be the latest on the Pete/Kim romance or cool science facts. While 39 percent of people under 24 prefer to get the news from social media, 34 percent seek out trusted news sites or apps when it comes to current events.

Gen Z was raised on free news, but some of us are still willing to pay for local or quality stories—especially when they’re accompanied by great visuals or a smooth app experience. We may have short attention spans, but we’re still paying attention when it matters.

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QUOTE US ON IT

“News is not literally a list of headlines and hard news stories. It’s a sophisticated cultural object, and there’s better written news and better reported news and worse news. The better stuff, discerning users will pay for, in the way that discerning users will pay more for a better pair of shoes or they’ll pay more to get access to better TV.”—Former New York Times CEO Mark Thompson

Mind the Gap: Where does Gen Z get their news? (12)

Mind the Gap: Where does Gen Z get their news? (13)

Wait, dont scroll

Breaking news down. Print newspapers have long been in hot water—here’s the inside scoop on how the New York Times turned its profit goals into subscriptions as it aimed to become the first “general-interest, premium news provider.” (This is one of my favorite McKinsey interviews ever.)

Check the forecast. At the start of 2022, top media personnel from around the globe predicted what we’d see more of this year—including debates on free speech online, hybrid-work controversies, and rising inflation. Halfway in, how are they doing? (And don’t miss the edition focused on headlines in Asia.)

Arts, entertainment, and … data? The ways we tell stories are getting more complicated—MIT’s Deb Roy breaks down “truth decay” and training AI to predict media habits using 100 million retweets.

You’re on New York time. New York City is the most connected city in the United States, and 21 percent of foreign visitors include the metropolis in their itinerary. The pandemic was dire for the tourism industry—and bringing visitors back to the concrete jungle is critical for a full recovery.

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Not us; still great

The personal brand is dead. Lots of Gen Zers are no longer into the whole social-media fame thing—for those embarrassed by look-at-me culture or worried about public social-media doxxing, retreating into private, nameless spaces or anonymous accounts provides an escape. [The Atlantic]

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Edited by Sarah Skinner, Gen Z curation editor, New York

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