Serving the “Web-first” generation

According to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, “the Internet is slowly closing in on television as Americans’ main source of national and international news.” 

OK, so that’s not really a surprise, but what is interesting is another of the survey’s findings. 

In 2010, for the first time, the Internet has surpassed television as the main source of national and international news for people younger than age 30.

This stat came out just a couple days before I was following a related Facebook exchange between my 17-year-old niece and her friends.

One of her buddies was telling my niece to stop watching Jersey Shore and to start watching the news, she replied, “The news is online, TV is for entertainment.” 

After I got over my astonishment that a group of 17-and18-year-olds were talking about the news at all, I realized that those of us in newsrooms and classrooms need to stop and think about what this means.

We have a generation of people now who think “Web-first” for news, whether we do or not.