Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Youth and the Media

I just came home from a panel discussion organized by MassINC called: "Plugged In, Tuned Out: Young Adults and the Media."

Panelists, including Adam Gaffin (who I finally got to meet) of UniversalHub, discussed why young adults are turned off by the newsmedia. A couple of interesting take-aways:

-- As noted by Bianca Vazquez Toness, a panelist from WBUR, maybe young voters don't pay attention to the media because the media don't report on what young voters care about. She just wrapped up a story for WBUR on what young voters do care about. The answers? The draft and the environment. Not necessarily surprising. When was the last time the New York Times wrote a front page story on the stances Presidential candidates have on the draft?

-- The previously mentioned Gaffin did a great job summarizing the role of bloggers in today's media environment. He noted how bloggers are ideal for giving first-hand accounts of breaking news events; he noted the plant explosion last year north of Boston in Danvers. But to actually explain why the explosion happened, we need the Boston Globe and the professional news journalists.

As a whole, the panel focused far too much on the topic for a general audience, rather than for the young-adult age group advertised. Case in point: "The Daily Show" came up once, and that was by a questioner.

As a result of the panel, I plan to follow Dan Kennedy's blog. He was a panelist.

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