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Under-30 Crowd Becoming Digital Addicts

By® Staff

Originally Posted

Newspapers and magazines are passé among twenty-somethings, according to a study from Forrester Research. People in their twenties are much more likely to obtain news and classified advertising from the Web than older age groups.

"Among Internet users in their twenties, the ritual of sitting down with the morning paper is gradually being displaced by a new routine: logging on for news," says Marty Beard in a copyrighted article in Media Life.

"The effect on the American newspaper threatens to be nothing less than devastating if the trend is not halted," Beard says, because this group represents "a future core readership base that papers cannot afford to lose."

Forrester says this twenty-something age bracket is 75 percent more likely to prefer the Web to gather news and information, particularly job information, which they can get from on-line personal-ad and job sites.

Beard says 45 percent of those in the 20-29 age group regularly log on to print publication Web sites. Because they can get the same material on line and are Web-skilled and Web-savvy, the under-30 crowd has reduced their readership of print papers.

Fewer than 30 percent prefer newspapers and magazines, Beard says. Instead, this age group considers the Internet the best source of in-depth information and is more likely to think of Internet information as up-to-date.

Newspapers are attempting to increase reading frequency among young adults, but it looks to be a tough fight. These twenty-somethings and their kids will dictate the next wave of changes in the hidebound newspaper industry.

If science overcomes age-related eyesight deficiencies and computer manufacturers develop displays with book-like crispness, the change will be bloody.

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