The News Industry: Past, Present, and Future

Sitting in on the 10 am meeting for the Detroit Free Press is an experience that I found rewarding and one that I will never forget. I thought that the reporters, especially Ashely, were definitely interested in learning more about reaching the news to young people (younger than 25 years old) and displaying news in all sorts of mediums. Walking into the conference room and seeing “25-44” displayed on the wall in an arrangement of thumbtacks was probably one of the more interesting things seen in the news room, visually, alongside the virtual charts that displayed which reporter was getting the most hits and on which article. It shows that the specific demographic of people between the ages of 25-44 is really, really, significant.

I really liked the way that the reporters answered questions regarding young people’s consumption of the news. It was interesting to me that they said that the stories they are covering now (pertaining to the people in the specific age demographic) are going to be relevant to our lives in just a few years – and that’s completely true! It does make more sense to contour what is covered in the news based on the group of people that are going to be consuming the most. Although it shouldn’t be assumed that middle aged adults are consuming news more often and in a heavier volume than college students or those younger than students, I think it is fairly obvious that people in that age demographic have not only more time to consume news but also more of a need to in regards to their work, family, financial security, business, and overall community status.

Here is a video that we watched in my biology class regarding the world’s most “typical” person. I thought that this may relate to this topic since the median age of people on earth is 28, which also falls into the age demographic that the Detroit Free Press is tailoring their news to.

In short, I believe that the media is doing a fairly good job of reaching young people. It doesn’t make sense for them to tailor stories directly to people in their teenage years because, as mentioned in today’s meeting, teenager’s attention spans are constantly evolving and their interests are always changing. People who fall into the age range of 25-44 usually have more of a concrete foundation and are more confident in their interests and needs.


About heathercnet

19, University of Michigan student, Michigan Marching Band

One Response to “The News Industry: Past, Present, and Future”

  1. Heather — I love that you posted NatGeo’s Typical Person video here! Way to not just reflect on the discussion but also move it forward by adding relevant new information. You may have heard the phrase “the medium is the message.” This is the title of a book by a famous cultural critic and media theorist from the last century, Marshall McLuhan. When he used that phrase, he had a lot to say about television changing the way information is spread in a community. Now, theorists can apply that same analysis to digital information spread, and especially the increasing emphasis on visual communication that we’ve discussed. So I think it’s not coincidental that you chose to share additional info via a NatGeo video, instead of a written article. That’s part of your message. Just because you shouldn’t take a journalism course without hearing mention of McLuhan, here’s a short video clip of him explaining his theories. Although the clip is almost half a century old, it resonates in interesting ways with the conversation we had at yesterday’s Detroit Free Press news meeting:

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