Presenting Online News to Young Millennials

Presenting Online News to Young Millennials

Kristina Cyra Bartl

Media and news have always played a big role in my life – from social circles, my educational path and to my work. One topic that was omnipresent in my life, in newsrooms as well as in lunch breaks, was the question of how traditional news providers can reach the young members of the public. When it was time to find a problem that I want to explore throughout my thesis project it was clear to me that I want to dig deeper into this issue.

Social media platforms have become a popular news source amongst young millennials. This can lead to problems within society. Filter bubbles and their suspected connection to biased beliefs are one example for phenomena that are caused by a news reception through social media platforms. At the same time, traditional news providers struggle to reach the younger audience, which can cause an unstable financial for them. Hence, finding a way to present online news to millennials is not only a matter of public interest, but also an important matter for the media industry.

Existing literature claimed that this problem is not caused by a lack of interest in news amongst young people, but on a growing divergence between the way news are presented online and how young people want online news to be presented to them. This problem is called the news gap. To prevent this gap from growing I explored how young millennials want the news to be presented to them.

I decided to collect my data through a qualitative approach. More precisely I chose a service design research method called generative sessions and semi-structured interviews. This made it possible for me to find out what media form my participants prefer in online news, what factors motivate them to receive news from traditional news providers and which features or functions they want to be offered to them within online news pieces.

The participants stated that they take three factors into account, when it comes to online news, which are trust, balanced opinions, and time-efficiency. Further, they prefer to have choice between different media forms, such as text, audio and visuals. The news providers should offer them a multimedia service and give them a chance to chose which parts of a story they want to explore further. One solution for this can be personalized news presentation and collaborations between different media providers.

Since the aim of the study was to find a way to prevent the news gap from growing, it was necessary for me to find a way how to present it to the ones, who are responsible for news presentation. For this reason, I prototyped a mock-up of an application that is addressed to news providers, journalists and media managers and aims to communicate how my participants want online news to be presented to them. Therefore, the mock-up presents my findings and provides examples of how they can be implemented in online news presentation.

You can check it out here:

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