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Young adults and the Internet

Young adults rely heavily on the Internet for economic news, according to a nationwide study released today by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

More than half of the 400 interviewees aged 18 to 25 said they relied a lot on the Internet for business news, followed by television and the advice of family and friends. They also rated the Internet and television as more accurate than newspapers, radio and magazines.

The study was commissioned by the Reynolds Center with interviews conducted by the Behavior Research Center Inc.

Almost half of the young adults surveyed said they had made decisions in the last year based on economic news. Those included buying less, saving more and putting off going to college.

“Our study found that young adults clearly care about their long-term financial future and follow the economic news in its many forms,” said Andrew Leckey, president of the Reynolds Center.

More than half said that the current economy has changed how they foresee their future lifestyle and career, “an extremely pessimistic finding,” according to James E. Haynes, who directed the research.

Other findings included:

  • CNN was cited as the most trustworthy specific news source by 20 percent, while 9 percent chose Fox News.
  • One in five had discussed the economy on social networking sites. More than half used Facebook, followed by MySpace at 40 percent. Seven percent said they frequently used the micro-blogging site, Twitter.
  • Almost one-fourth used online financial tools, with bank Web sites being the most commonly used.

A February study by the Reynolds Center of where all adults accessed business news found that more used television than newspapers, the Internet and radio combined.

For the complete report, including the opinions of respondents comparing the news networks, click here.

About the Author

The Reynolds Center, created through generous grants from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation of Las Vegas and operated by ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is dedicated to improving the quality of business and economics coverage through training programs for business reporters and editors.

Comments (1)

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  1. Linda Austin says:

    You can find us on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/BizJournalism#!/DonaldWReynolds
    Thanks for your interest!

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