Publication type: Working paper – expertise – study
Title: How to reach Swiss digital natives with news : a qualitative study
Authors: Gnach, Aleksandra
Keel, Guido
Klopfenstein Frei, Nadine
Weber, Wibke
Wyss, Valery
Burger, Marcel
Benecchi, Eleonora
Calderara, Luca
Mazzoni, Petra
et. al: Yes
Extent: 50
Issue Date: Feb-2021
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Bundesamt für Kommunikation BAKOM
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Biel
Language: English
Subjects: Journalism; Youth; Media; News
Subject (DDC): 070: News media, journalism and publishing
302.23: Media
Abstract: The media significantly contribute to shaping public opinion and social participation. However, news media are increasingly confronted with the challenge of not reaching younger people. The present study, "Reaching Swiss Digital Natives with News", aims to providesolutions by analyzing the demands and expectations of young people regarding news, as well as their media behavior, their activities associated with news consumption, and their media literacy. The study was conducted from August 2019 to February 2020 by the IAM Institute for Applied Media Studies at the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with the Universities of Lugano (USI) and Lausanne (UNIL). The study participants were 66 young people aged 12 to 20 years from three Swiss language regions (German-, French-, and Italian-speaking Switzerland). The data was collected in all three language regions with a qualitative multi-method approach. First, interviews were conducted to gain insight into the everyday world of the young people and determine topics for the focus groups. The focus groups provided information about the participants' understanding of news, attitudes towards news consumption, and news consumption motivations. The subsequent ethnographic and diary studies examined the participants' news consumption in real-time: the ethnographic study recorded the participants' interactions on news topics on social media platforms. During the diary study, the participants documented their news consumption using pictures, texts, and predefined keywords. This procedure provided insights into online- and offline news consumption, as the participants also documented newspaper articles read, television broadcasts watched, and radio broadcasts listened. The diary entries were validated with interviews and recordings of cell phone usage time. The triangulation of the data from all research steps shows that young people's news consumption can be systematized according to four dimensions: duration and times of consumption, news habits and behavior, restrictions, and media literacy. These dimensions varie according to the young people's age, but the boundaries are fluid. 12 to 14 years: This group accesses news primarily via smartphone, which they usually use at home, where Internet access via WLAN is available. The usage time of the smartphone is 2 to 3 hours a day. The use of smartphones, and thus the news consumption of young people, is strongly regulated by parents and school. These restrictions mean that young people hardly ever use online news services. They come into contact with news mainly through media available at home. The primary motivation for news consumption in this age group is the opportunity to talk to parents or at school about news content. Reading news articles is not easy for this age group; the young people need help from parents and teachers. 15 to 17 years: At this age, the parental influence and restrictions decrease, while the influence of peers increases. Adolescents in this age group spend a lot of time on social media platforms where they follow numerous channels and come into contact with news. Wildly popular are Instagram and YouTube. The news is hardly selected; these people consume whatever is accessible. Despite their understanding of rather complex news items, they prefer shorter and easily understandable information units. As soon as young people have a data package, they are almost always online and use their phones up to 6 hours a day, mainly on weekends, vacations, or when commuting on public transport. 18 to 20 years: At this age, the news consumption behavior is stabilizing, and individual patterns are emerging — young people in this age group access news via selected apps and social media channels. News is usually consumed in the morning during a commute, on the way home, and shortly before bedtime. The daily phone usage time is 3 to 4 hours. The interests and motivations for news consumption become more specific. Young people at this age want to understand what is going on, so they can share their knowledge and opinions with peers from special interest groups. Additional language skills enable them to consume news from foreign news providers. Also, young people in this age group critically reflect on their news consumption. The results across all three age groups show that young people prefer visual formats such as pictures and videos. When scrolling on social media platforms, they often come across news content by chance. Memes and Instagram stories are particularly popular in this context. They often motivate the young people to trace back the content and find the original news source. Furthermore, specific news apps are used as news distribution channels. In general, young people want the news to be less negative. They also feel overwhelmed by the large amount of news they are exposed to on a regular basis. They wish for news apps where news items can be selected according to predefined criteria and where they get a summary of the most important topics, illustrated with pictures and short videos. The main motivations for news consumption are passing the time, entertainment, personal interests, and discussing news topics with others. Young people want to be informed to have a say in current, critical issues and topics that are "in vogue." The study resulted in an audience model with personas that depicts and systematizes young Swiss people's news consumption patterns. The model shows that the chance to reach young people with new news formats exists above all in the group of 15 to 17-year-olds. This age group has not yet developed a routine for its news consumption and is very receptive to new news formats.
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Applied Linguistics
Organisational Unit: Institute of Applied Media Studies (IAM)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Schweizer Digital Natives mit Nachrichten erreichen. Eine qualitative Studie
Appears in collections:Publikationen Angewandte Linguistik

Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.