The online news experiences of young adults

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In the earlier stage of their research, Qayyum, Williamson, Liu, & Hider (2010) found a strong desire to remain informed amongst their study participants, who used a variety of news media, including printed newspapers, to try to achieve this. They confirmed findings of other researchers (e.g. (Huang, 2009; Raeymaeckers, 2004) that young people are particularly interested in entertainment but that local news of direct relevance to them is also important. In the second stage, reported here, the researchers focussed on patterns of behaviour of young adults when they interact with online news media. They used various findings of the first phase to inform their approach. There was also an emphasis on the discovery of in formation for everyday living as reported in (Williamson, Qayyum, Hider, & Liu, 2012).The significance of the study relates to preferences for online information formats and content, and thus to the quality and effectiveness of user/information interactions. Given the trend identified in the literature, online newspapers and other services are here to stay, making this investigation important. The field of information science can make a contribution in this regard, as this study sets out to do. Although a minor component, the research is also significant because of the recent advent of social networking and the documented attraction of young adults to it.Print newspaper circulation is in a free fall. Between 2007-2009, the decline was 30% in US, 25% in UK, and a bit less in Greece, Italy, and Canada (Robinson, 2010). Print media are also being fast abandoned by younger readers: 65% of 18-29 year olds consider internet to be their primary source of news according to The Economist (anon, 2011). Nevertheless news definitely interests young people as they strive to stay informed. Pew research (Lenhart, Purcell, & Smith, 2010) indicated that 62% of internet-using teenagers, especially the older teens, consume online news about current events and politics. Prin
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInformation, Interactions and Impact Conference: i3 2013 - Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 25 Jun 201328 Jun 2013 (Conference website)


ConferenceInformation, Interactions and Impact Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Otheri3 focuses on the quality and effectiveness of the interaction between people and information and how this interaction can bring about change. The conference will look beyond the issues of use and accessibility of technology to questions about the way people interact with the information and knowledge content of today's systems and services, and how this might ultimately affect the impact of that information on individuals, organisations and communities.

The aim is to bring together academic and practitioner researchers with an interest in:
the quality and effectiveness of user/information interactions (e.g. information literacy);
patterns of information behaviour in different contexts;
impact of information or information services on people, organisations, communities and society (e.g. social, learning, cultural and economic outcomes of engagement with information);
more effective decision making.

The growing research bases which inform our understanding of information behaviour, information literacy and impact of information have developed along their own distinctive lines. However, their common interest in the information user suggests that there should be points at which these lines of research could and should connect if we are to fully understand the complex nature of human/information interaction.

For example, we have evidence and models of information behaviour in different contexts, but how much do we know about the impact that these behaviours have on the quality of decision-making or learning? We talk of a relationship between access to information and social inclusion or economic development - but how does this relationship work in human terms? How well do our models and pedagogies for information literacy relate to real-world information behaviours in learning, decision-making, problem solving in workplace, community, education or home environments? How does the quality of the user/information interaction influence the impact of library and information services? Are systems being designed to meet the behaviours and skills of today's information users or are new information environments changing the way we seek out and use information? Whose role is it to ensure that these interactions and impacts are positive rather than negative for information users? What are the methodological challenges of addressing such issues?
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