News Flash: Blogger read news

Traditional media, newspapers in particular, are struggling mightily to attract younger readers.
Very little has worked to date. The average print newspaper reader is 55 and getting older. Even newspaper on Web sites, where the average age is younger, the average age has become trending up.
Beyond the headlines of a new Pew Internet and American Life Project study released this week are interesting trends that may hold some clues for Big Media. The study suggests news content is extremely important to younger readers, but they are looking beyond traditional media to meet their needs.
Consider a few bullet points from the study:
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  • The most distinguishing characteristic of bloggers is their youth. More than half (54%) of bloggers are under the age of 30.
  • 64% of bloggers say they go online several times each day from home, compared with 27% of all internet users.
  • 72% of bloggers look online for news or information about politics; by contrast, just 58% of all internet users do so.

The study notes that bloggers are using diverse source of information, including listserves, email newsletters, and blogs.
One thing that comes through to me is that newspapers — or any traditional media targeting this group for growth — need to work harder at attracting this group as online readers and users with blog-friendly tools such as:

  • “Blog this” links
  • “Clipping services”
  • Easier entry to our RSS feeds
  • More blogs
  • Aggregating more non-newspaper content
  • Aggressive creation and promotion of email newsletters.


  1. “Blog this” (or “tag this”)links might be useful additions to news pages… maybe a popup menu of blogging and tagging engines. (I’ve used separate toolbar-based “tag/blog this” links for Blogger, Drupal, WordPress, Digg, etc.)
    The “Who’s blogging this?” trackback aggregators or “most blogged…” lists are informative, too, especially on hot-button issues.
    I especially like giving RSS-subscriber bloggers story links that bypass register-to-read (or archive payment) requirements, so that blog readers — even months later — can see the story that started the discussion, keeping the web of information intact.
    Thanks for the cross-link with my clip from the same study. On the “younger readers” angle, I wonder whether MySpace is pushing the blogger demographic even younger…and whether the survey had any bias in favor of owners of landline phones, rather than mobiles; if so, the age curve might tend even younger.
    (That may all be in the Pew report, which I still haven’t had time to read thoroughly.)

  2. Yes, those are good suggestions.
    I don’t know about hte MySpace trending young vs landline trending old, but MySpace did rank second, I think, in blog platforms in the survey it certainly has had an impact on social networking and blogging.

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