The decline in the number of young adults in America who read a newspaper is getting worse. In the past five years the percentage has dropped from 58 to 51 per cent. It’s what newspapers have been fearing – and its confirmed by a new study by the Newspaper Association of America. Ten per cent of American teenagers and l2 per cent of young adults under 25 in fact admit they pay little attention to current events – unless it is something earth-shaking such as the war in the Middle East or the latest terror plots. When they are interested they watch local tv or CNN or the MSBC networks.
The findings were confirmed by another study conducted by the Los Angeles Times and the Bloomberg business network into the pop culture and entertainment habits of young Americans. That survey found that just nine per cent of teenagers aged l2 to l7 and l7 per cent of young adults aged l8 to 24 read a daily paper At the same time only 28 per cent of teenagers and 38 per cent of young adults get their news from local television.
Disturbing figures? Yes, for many editors. But the cinema habits of young Americans are declining too. Most said they don’t read movie reviews. Only l1 per cent of teenagers and 16 per cent of young adults said they were motivated to see a movie based on its reviews. Many said they only go to movies because they have a date and their girl friend drags them along. It’s one reason why many newspapers are cutting down the space they give to movie reviews – and why Hollywood studios are cutting back on advertising in papers. Some studios have even stopped holding previews for film critics
More and more young Americans say they would rather watch movies at home – or better still on their computers or i-Pods.At the same time the Hollywood campaign against bootleg movies seems to be working. A majority of teenagers and young adults now believe its a crime to buy bootleg tapes. On the other hand copying a DVD or the film tape of a friend who has bought it legally, most think that's legitimate.