AP 2.0 and a new news model

Well worth a read –
Full report:

http://www.ap.org/newmodel.pdf

Study shows young adults hit by ‘news fatigue’

By KARL RITTER

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iGPYi5zho-vnKJOBdbY96X2qsPjwD911NHNG0

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) – Young adults experience news fatigue from being inundated
by facts and updates and have trouble accessing in-depth stories, according to a
study to be unveiled at a global media conference Monday.

The Context-Based Research Group, an ethnographic research firm, found that the
news consumption behavior of younger readers differs profoundly from that of previous
generations.

The research project, commissioned by The Associated Press in 2007, analyzed the
news consumption patterns of an ethnically diverse group of 18 men and women between
the ages of 18 and 34 in six cities in the United States, Britain and India.

It ultimately helped AP design a new model for news delivery to meet the needs of
young adults, who are driving the shift from traditional media to digital news,
said Jim Kennedy, AP’s director of strategic planning.

“The real value was that it gave us a lasting model of how news is being consumed
in the digital space by young people that we can use to improve our own newsgathering
and project development,” Kennedy said.

That includes what the AP calls “1-2-3 filing,” starting with a news alert headline
for breaking news, followed by a short present-tense story that is usable on the
Web and by broadcasters. The third step is to add details and format stories in
ways most appropriate for various news platforms.

Editors at the Telegraph in London are following a similar approach and have seen
a big jump in traffic at the newspaper’s Web site. The study said the Telegraph
has adopted the mind-set of a broadcast-news operation to quickly build from headlines
to short stories to complete multimedia packages online to boost readership.

The study’s purpose was to obtain a deeper and more holistic understanding of the
news consumption behavior of younger audiences. The results were scheduled to be
presented Monday in a 71-page report to media executives and editors from around
the globe at the World Editors Forum in Goteborg, southwestern Sweden.

A key finding was that participants yearned for quality and in-depth reporting but
had difficulty immediately accessing such content because they were bombarded by
facts and updates in headlines and snippets of news.

The study also found that participants were unable to give full attention to the
news because they were almost always simultaneously engaged in other activities,
such as reading e-mail. That represents a shift from previous consumption models
in which people sat down to watch the evening news or read the morning paper.

“Our observations and analysis identified that consumers’ news diets are out of
balance due to the over-consumption of facts and headlines,” said Robbie Blinkoff,
co-founder and head anthropologist at Baltimore, Md.-based Context-Based Research
Group.

To combat that, the authors recommended that news producers develop easier ways
for readers to discover in-depth content and to avoid repetitious updates of breaking
news.

The research was conducted in six major metropolitan areas around the globe: Houston,
Silicon Valley, Philadelphia and Kansas City in the United States; Brighton, Britain;
and Hyderabad, India.

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One Response

  1. Thanks for posting this, Colin. And welcome! Yes, it’s sobering stuff. I’m only part way through reading it, but it definitely gives one a sense of how much work still needs to be done to figure out how to serve young readers.

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