Young adults and everyday-life information: The role of news media

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Abstract

There is a paucity of research examining the everyday-life information seeking of young people, especially investigatingthe role that the news media has in providing information to young people for use in their everyday lives.A qualitative, interpretivist approach is adopted, involving 34 students, ages 18 to 25, from an Australian university.First, 20 students were interviewed about their news seeking (including topics and sources). Then 14 studentsparticipated in verbal protocol analysis, which involved a series of tasks concerning online and printnewspapers. Lastly, students were interviewed about how they sought everyday-life information and whetherthey thought that they had incidentally acquired or encountered information on everyday-life topics in onlineor print newspapers in the recent past. Findings indicated that, contrary to expectations, traditional printmedia still played a role for young people, and social media were perceived as important for communicationwith friends, rather than for news gathering. Purposeful information seeking was more likely to occur online,but both print and online newspapers retained an incidental role in providing information to students for theireveryday lives. Participants used a range of media to suit their particular needs and purposes. Thus, access to awide variety of sources is important for everyday-life information seeking (ELIS) by young people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-264
Number of pages7
JournalLibrary & Information Science Research
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

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