(Originally posted on Oct. 12, 2010)
The “Reflections of a Newsosaur” blog reflects today on a recent study of young media consumers by BVA, a French market research firm, and <a href=”http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/2010/10/digital-natives-more-different-than-you.html” title=”the larger implications for the news industry”>the larger implications for the news industry</a> if the findings can be extrapolated to young people over here as well. Summary: Our existing products may be very poorly positioned to appeal to this group, which distrusts all authority, relies foremost on friends for information, talks back, and values speed, mobility and bite-size information.
“The research is important to anyone worried about the future of the newspaper business, because it demonstrates how profoundly next-generation consumers differ from the aging geezers (this writer included) who account for more than half of newspaper readership in the United States even though they represent barely 30% of the population.
“The French study found that young people have utterly different attitudes than their elders with respect to such seminal concepts as, say, institutional authority. Further, those attitudes are diametrically opposed to the values, expectations and economic underpinnings that suffuse the newspaper business.
“The almost complete disconnect between generations means editors and publishers have lots to learn – tout de suite – about modern consumers, if they hope to preserve the long-term sustainability and value of their franchises. But it won’t be easy. Because learning to think, speak and act in this new and alien paradigm is even harder than learning French.”