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The Changing Process of News Consumption Among The Millennial Generation

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The birth of new media offers a lot of opportunities, but at the same time it has significant consequences that should not be ignored. One of the biggest effects is the changing process of news consumption among the digital generation, the so-called millennials: people who were born after 1980.

Thanks to this new media, the news dissemination has changed a lot. The incredible speed and quantity of news strikes people’s horizon. Because of this, the growth of new media goes much faster than traditional media (marketing bron). Human beings are increasingly consuming news via popular social, mobile and digital platforms. The adoption of those platforms and apps is undoubtedly becoming a routine. Especially youngsters are prone to internet news consumption because they grew up with the digital technology.

But to which degree the millennial generation really consume news in a different way? And is the newspaper industry able to revive its importance as well as its readership when the world is going digital? And last but not least: how do they deal with the changing process of news consumption in order to survive?

Teenagers absorb news and information in remarkably various ways than previous generations, there is question of more gradation and variation in their paths to discovery. As stated by Antunovic in 2016, the schedule of students was one of the main reasons why they could not afford to sit down to watch or read news. During their schoolyear it was hard to stay ‘on top of everything that’s going on’, they were ‘too busy’.

According to Antunovic in 2016 millennials most frequently got news through their mobile devices. Those devices made it possible for students to check news during and between classes. Twitter came up as the dominant medium for news consumption. But as Antunovic stated in 2016, young people use their smartphone not only for getting news through the social medium Twitter but also for receiving news alerts. The youngsters downloaded apps that would allow them to click and see the headlines or that would automatically send them breaking news alerts. However, getting a notification via the app did not automatically result in reading the story.

But how is this form of news consumption described in the literature, and are there other contemporary forms? Commensurate with Antunovic there are three stages of news consumption. The first stage is routine surveillance, this stage speaks to the simple practice of news checking. In the sixties, this may have meant reading the morning paper and watching a television news program in the evening. Today, it may mean routine checking of a news repertoire of favored news sites. Individuals pick a select and recurring number of sources of entertainment or news.

But what does this mean for the ways in which young adults consume news? They structure their news environment by using apps that send them newsfeeds from remarkable news organizations or they scan the online environment for news items on topics especially designated by them, the user.

The second stage is ‘incidental consumption’, a practice of discovering news on other subjects while looking for one specific article. It is especially popular during online news consumption. In times of traditional media, so before the internet, incidental exposure might have come via word of mouth for a breaking news story. Today, it can still manifest in the same way, but also through social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, even email, or Instagram. News flashes frequently just ‘pops up’ while users look at their social media platforms.

The final stage is called ‘directed consumption’: individual curiosity may arouse a person to seek out additional information on a particular story. In the situation of legacy media, particularly print newspaper use, this may simply lead to reading the story behind the headline. In an online context, it means clicking on the link to a full story and perhaps even similar stories. This stage took place via television in the case of breaking news and on a laptop in the case of non-trending topics. It’s the only stage in which people are literally sitting down to watch television or to read numerous news stories about identical topics. So, the directed consumption stage is probably the most all-inclusive, most lengthy, and most engaging form of news consumption. These stages rely on each other and might even overlap, leading to a complex process by which millennials make use of various sorts of media in varying situations and on a variety of devices to receive news.

Another contemporary form of news consumption is the ‘news snacking’ phenomenon, with younger generations more likely to be snackers. According to Sauvageau (2012) we nibble away at the news, whenever and wherever we feel like it. In short, we take the news, shape it, comment on it, and share it with our friends on Facebook or via Twitter. As Bucy stated in 2014, the internet and mobile media have significant potential to allow and stimulate snacking on the news.

Mobile technology encourages shorter, dispersed consumption patterns. Smartphones allow flexibility in when to consume media, where to consume media, and how much to take in. To conclude, the daily habit of young adults on their mobile devices looked more like closely news ‘checking’ rather than ‘news engagement’.

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The Different Generation Style of Consuming News. (2022, December 02). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 31, 2023, from
“The Different Generation Style of Consuming News.” GradesFixer, 02 Dec. 2022,
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