Should news be convenient?

By: Scott Stein, Senior Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

A new survey of high school students recently caught my attention. The survey by the Knight Foundation found that more and more high school age kids are getting their news from social networking. In fact, 56 percent indicate they look to social networks as a daily source of news and information.

If you’ve spent any amount of time around any high school students, that survey finding is probably not a surprise. Most kids seem to be glued to their smartphones or computers these days.

But a few of the other survey results were what really caught my eye.

While more than half of the students said they were daily users of social media for news and information, it wasn’t the only source that they cited.

  • 77 percent say they watch TV for news at least once a day
  • 54 percent report they read an article online at least once a day 
  • 48 percent watch video news online at least once a day
  • 42 percent say they read an article in print at least once a day

Again, not a real surprise. Few people remain as adamant as I am about reading a printed newspaper on a daily basis.


What I really found interesting is the way the students felt about the truthfulness of the news sources. While only 42 percent said they read an article in print at least once a day, 88 percent of the respondents felt that newspapers were very or somewhat truthful. Television news came in next with 78 percent believing TV was very or somewhat truthful.


When it comes to social networks, just 34 percent of the high schoolers felt they were very or somewhat truthful. Which begs the question…If you’re skeptical about the truthfulness of the news and information on social networks, why are more kids seeking news from that source?

Like so many things today, the answer is probably convenience. If you’re already hooked up to the social media to communicate with your friends, why not use it as a news and information source. It’s easier than taking the time to sit down and read the daily newspaper.

What do you think? Is convenience driving the way you get your news?