Millennials and Media

The numbers are in to confirm that Millennials have abandoned local TV news. A recent Pew Research study found that only about 30% of adults (ages 18 to 33) tune in to their local TV news shows at 6 and 10 pm.

Millennials are instead getting their news from social media— more than 60% say Facebook is their primary source of information regarding political and governmental issues. In contrast, Baby Boomers report an inverted figure: 60% are holding on to their television sets for political updates while the remaining 40% have accepted the utility and convenience of Facebook.

Millennial’s distaste for local television suggests a general boredom with any non-social news outlet including major television programming and talk radio. So what does this difference of generational preference mean for the political landscape? Young Facebookers, who commonly boast well over a thousand online friends, tend to have more exposure to conflicting political opinions (in comparison to their parents and grandparents who are home watching Bill O’Reilly or Rachel Maddow) as friends on both sides of the aisle share and post political material. 

It seems clear based on the study that this difference in preference is not a product of young people’s distrust for their parents’ programs. With only slight variation, each generation responded similarly regarding the 36 sources tested in the Pew Study. All ages seem to agree that CNN is reliable and that Rush Limbaugh is the least trustworthy source of news information today. Any variation that is present seems to be more a product of lack of exposure rather than dissatisfaction. There are not a lot of young people following Al Jazeera, while no one over the age of 33 seems to keep up with BuzzFeed. 

 We encourage you to consider the Pew study in detail by clicking here. And as always, we invite you to join our voter research conversation on Twitter @ChismStrat.


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