A majority of millennials and Gen Zers pay for news, study finds

A new report by the Media Insight Project found that 60% of Americans between the ages of 16 to 40 pay for or donate to news.

Those rates are higher for older millennials than Gen Z, according to the project, which is a collaboration between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute. Researchers surveyed nearly 6,000 people and found that 51% of Gen Z pay for or donate to some type of news content, compared to 67% of older millennials.

Both millennials and Gen Z were more than twice as likely to pay for news from independent creators (i.e. email newsletters, video or audio content) than traditional print and digital outlets. They also reported spending more time online and on social media. Millennial and Gen Z news payers and consumers reported using, on average, at least two social media sources every day to get news.

“While news organizations may be prudent to prioritize developing relationships with any audience on a channel they own — especially as social media companies change how they handle news — social media will continue to influence Millennials and Gen Z,” the report reads.

In late January, Poynter published an article about how Ralph Nader, “the consumer advocate, former presidential candidate and scourge of corporate interests,” was launching a newspaper.

“At age 88,” it read, “Nader is still going strong and, beginning with his hometown in northwest Connecticut, he’s determined to do something about the ‘news desert’ crisis in local journalism.”

Nader put up $15,000 to fund the first print edition of The Winsted Citizen. The next edition … not so much.

“Nader has yet to provide promised funding for the second edition, which was distributed Friday,” Bob Sillick reports for Editor & Publisher. “Instead, he offered, but did not deliver, an $8,000 loan, which (publisher and editor Andy) Thibault said the paper will not accept. Payroll also has not been met for more than two weeks. The paper is applying to foundations for emergency grants and is continuing to build advertising and subscription revenue.”

Journalists at Reviewed, a product reviews site owned by Gannett, won their union election Monday.

The unit, which comprises 38 writers, editors, photographers, designers and producers, first announced its intention to unionize with the NewsGuild in December. Gannett declined to voluntarily recognize the union, forcing the issue to an election held by the National Labor Relations Board.

Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the country, has historically taken a strong anti-union stance, workers say. More than a dozen Gannett newsrooms have unionized since the start of the pandemic, and the company has not voluntarily recognized any of them. When Reviewed employees initially announced their union drive, they sought one unit encompassing both editorial and non-editorial workers. However, Gannett protested, and Reviewed’s labs and operations workers were forced to file for a separate NLRB election. Ballots for that election will be counted next Monday.

“Since we began organizing last year, we’ve lost some incredible colleagues to no-cause terminations, unjust layoffs, and general attrition as the poor compensation and working conditions we’ve faced at Reviewed made it harder and harder to stay,” senior editor Joanna Nelius said in a press release. “But our victory today goes to show that Reviewed’s staff, from those who have been here for years to those who just started with the company, are ready to unite to make sure that those conditions end here and to fight for a better workplace.”

The Associated Press reports that thousands of fake, automated Twitter accounts have been built to praise former President Donald Trump for the last 11 months, and are now attacking likely rivals for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are on the receiving end of the bot network’s aggression, including repeated suggestions that DeSantis join Trump as a running mate.

“There’s never been more noise online,” Tyler Brown, a political consultant and former digital director for the Republican National Committee, told the AP. “How much of it is malicious or even unintentionally unfactual? It’s easy to imagine people being able to manipulate that.”

The Washington Post is looking for a new managing editor.

“WaPo editor Sally Buzbee notifies staffers over email that The Washington Post is hiring a new managing editor with oversight of key coverage areas,” New York Times media reporter Benjamin Mullin tweeted, with a screenshot of the email from Buzbee.

In the email, Buzbee — whose appointment as executive editor of The Washington Post made history in 2021 — welcomed Justin Bank as managing editor overseeing the newspaper’s Audience, Curations/Platforms and Visual Journalism teams. As Bank begins, Buzbee noted managing editor Krissah Thompson will take over responsibility for helping to guide the Post’s audio team.

Buzbee added that there would be a post on the managing editor position “with oversight of several key coverage departments in our newsroom” and to look for that posting later this week. No further details were provided on what key coverage departments will have oversight under the hire.

People plugged into conversations about disparities in news reporting probably know about “missing white woman syndrome,” where the news media throws everything they have into covering disappearances of young, pretty white women and largely ignore missing women of color.

Lifetime’s new movie “#BlackGirlMissing” puts a dramatic lens on the issue, following the story of a mother trying to get law enforcement and the press to pay attention when her daughter goes missing.

“We all know the Gabby Petitos, the Anna Walshes, the Shandra Levys, the Laci Petersons, the Elizabeth Smart. The list goes on and on,” Derrica Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation and a consultant for the movie, said. “We’re not trying to dishonor those communities. We’re just trying to even the playing field.”

Read more from Poynter’s Annie Aguiar.

Today’s Poynter Report was written by Amaris Castillo, Angela Fu, Annie Aguiar and Ren LaForme.

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Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at [email protected]

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