Oakland, Calif. (KTVU): - More than half of U.S. teens get their news from social media, and 50 percent get news from YouTube at least a few times a week, a recent poll published Tuesday by non-profit Common Sense and Survey Monkey reveals.
The survey, which polled 1,005 teens in late June 2019 to examine media and technology trends affecting kids and their parents found that fewer than half (41 percent), get news reported by news organizations in print or online at least a few times a week, and only 37 percent get news on TV at least a few times a week.
For daily consumers of news, nearly three in 10 teens (29 percent) get news from social media every day, and 23 percent get news from YouTube every day. About as many (23 percent) get news every day from digital news aggregators or from phone notifications. Just 15 percent get news reported by news organizations in print or online every day, and 13 percent get news on TV every day.
About six in 10 teens who get news from YouTube and social media sites say they are more likely to get it from celebrities, influencers, and personalities than news organizations on those platforms. The surveyed teens say they are able to distinguish fact from fiction- with 70 percent saying that news reported by news organizations “generally gets the facts straight,” while just 38 percent say the same about news from celebrities, influencers, or social media personalities.
"These findings raise concerns about what kind of news the next generation is using to shape their decisions," Common Sense CEO James Steyer said in a press statement. “With the 2020 election coming up, we need to make sure teens are getting their news from reliable sources, thinking critically, and making informed decisions."
Of the teens age 16 and 17 who say they'll be eligible to vote in the 2020 election, 85 percent are likely to cast a ballot, including 61 percent who say they're "very likely."
"While it's notable that teens rely heavily on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to stay informed, their reliance on news from celebrities and influencers rather than journalists may have pernicious implications," said Jon Cohen, chief research officer at SurveyMonkey. "It's a bit of a paradox: Overwhelmingly teens say they are interested in keeping up with the news, but they're not seeking out either traditional or new media to do so."