Friday, January 11, 2008

"If It Catches My Eye"

Friday, January 11, 2008

Northwestern University's Media Management Center has just published a new report, "If it catches my eye: An exploration of online news experiences of teenagers." For those interested about how teens use the internet this is must reading.

The in-depth study examined a diverse group of 65 Chicago-area teens. In summary, it found:
+ That news isn't that important to teens right now. Following news on politics, government, public affairs, etc. is stressful for teens. It reminds them of the peril in the world.
+ Local news sites aren't on their radar screens. Teens are seeing news that pops up in front of them from large Internet portals and news aggregators; they're not going out of their way for news.
+ However, teens do show interest in news in certain circumstances. In interviews for the study, they repeatedly used the phrase “I will read it IF IT CATCHES MY EYE.” Teens will read about a variety of news topics – if the subject interests them or if there is stimulating video, pictures, humorous or weird news, etc.

The report goes on to discuss the characteristics of sites that teens turn to most often for news AND to make recommendations to news organizations on ways to attract teens.

To see the full report go to

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