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Are Digital Natives Dropping Print Newspapers? A National Survey of College Newspaper AdvisersH. Iris Chyi, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorSchool of JournalismCollege of CommunicationThe University of Texas at Austin
Paper presented at the 13th International Symposium on Online Journalism, Austin, Texas, April 20-21, 2012
What everyone knowsNo. 1: Young adults are less likely to read a print newspaper compared with other age groups.No. 2: Younger people are more likely to spend time online compared with other age groups.Widely accepted assumptionYoung people are dropping print newspapers in favor of online news sources. Nine out of ten journalists believed young adults prefer online news to print news (Kaufhold, 2010).Industry response Newspapers have shifted substantial amount of dwindling resources from print to online. The Web is newspapers No. 1 priority for attracting young readers (Graybeal, 2011).
In realityYoung people are not using technologies to get news at higher rates than do older people (Pew Research Center, 2010).Previous researchMost people find the print newspaper more useful, satisfying, likeable, enjoyable than its online counterpart (Chyi & Chang, 2009; De Waal et al., 2005; Online Publishers Association, 2004; Chyi & Lasorsa, 1999, 2002; Chyi & Lee, 2012). Are so-called digital natives an exception?Purpose of this studyTo re-examine the assumptions about young peoples news-seeking habits and their attitude toward print and online newspapers. Do they really prefer online news?7College newspapersMost college papers publish in online and print formats.Both formats are offered for free.Their target readers are college students ages 18-22, all with Internet access.College papers publish content most relevant to campus life. MethodA list of college newspaper advisers was obtained from College Media AssociationA Web-based survey of U.S. college newspapersMay 6-June 6, 2011Completion rate: 41%198 college newspapersServing student population of
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