Start ‘em Young: Developing Teens into Lifelong Newspaper Readers Trennia Donohue University of St. Thomas May 18, 2004
Declining Readership of Newspapers • 72% of adults read Sunday newspaper in 1970 • 63% of adults read Sunday newspaper in 2002
Why Study Teen Newspaper Readership? • Generation Y 1978-1994 • Largest generation since Baby Boomers • 33.7 million 12-18 year olds in 2005 • Establish reading habits
What are the Options for Increasing Readership? • Bring young readers to current paper • Develop new products for young readers • Chicago Tribune’s RedEye • Philadelphia Daily News’ Metro
Research Question Are there changes to the daily newspaper that would increase teen readership?
Research Methodology • 3 East Metro high schools • Grades 9-12 • 300 surveys • Administered in classrooms by teachers
Response • 75% response rate, 226 responses • 52% male, 48% female • 42% were 10th graders
Where do you get most of your news?57% of teens get their news from television.
How often do you read the newspaper? 56% read everyday or a few times a week80% read at least 1X per week
What sections do you read most often?Sports and Variety/Express 1st choice. Sports Variety Express Comics Comics
Favorite part of the newspaper?Males chose Sports, females chose movies and fashion.
What’s your least favorite section?Females chose business, males chose fashion.
In the next 2 years you will:As adults, teens plan to read about the same. • Read the paper a lot more 35% • Read the paper about the same 60% • Read the paper less 5%
Biggest reason for not reading?Comprehension is not an issue. • Not enough time/too busy 50% • Not interested 38% • Don’t have access 8% • Too hard to understand 2%
What would you like to see more of? Sports and coverage of young people important. • More sports 26% • Stories on young people 22% • More photos 10%
How would you rate the newspaper?86% rated excellent, very good, or good.
How is this useful? Developing strategies • Teens are reading newspapers • Particular sections/days of week are more highly read
Recommendations • Target messages to teens in what they are reading • Add serial stories to encourage multiple day reading. • Promote teen stories in upcoming issues in highly read sections on popular days of the week.
Recommendations • Provide news summaries for time-pressed readers • Expose teens to newspaper more frequently through teen event sponsorship • Sponsor high school sporting events • Sponsor fashion events at area malls
Conclusion Research Question: Are there changes to the daily newspaper that would increase teen readership? YES!