One of the distinctions of the digital age is that it gives consumers more control over the information they consume, the sources they seek out, and the pathways they use to get it. As the news industry tries to understand the news habits of Millennials, who make up the first digital generation, one important question is whether changing technologies are extending or blurring differences between races and ethnic groups in how news is consumed.
A new Media Insight Project study of Millennials and news finds that Hispanic and African American adults under age 35 are just as connected to the web as the rest of their generation, but they find news in somewhat different ways and they tend to follow a different mix of subjects.
Although there are some racial and ethnic differences in the way Millennials learn about the world, the study shows that the similarities among different racial and ethnic groups are probably more numerous than the differences.
This new research focused on the Millennial generation, those 18-34 years old, reinforces 2014 Media Insight Project findings about adults overall that the much-predicted “digital divide”–in which people of color would be left behind by not having digital connectivity–had not materialized in the way many had feared, at least when it comes to the news.
This study was conducted by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute (API) and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. A nationwide survey of 1,045 adults age 18-34 was conducted from January 5 through February 2, 2015. This includes 163 non-Hispanic African Americans and 162 Hispanics. Participants were recruited through a national probability telephone sample, and the main questionnaire was administered online.