The importance of journalism for the digital information behaviour of young adults

Over time, the information behaviour of young adults has changed. In this project, we aim to systematically analyse their digital information menus. We will also analyse the significance of these changes for professional journalism.

  • Project description

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    By means of a mobile tracking study we will survey the different sources of information, such as journalistic sources, PR, alternative and social media. We will then categorise and summarise these sources in so-called information repertoires, and examine the quality in the respective repertoires using an automated content analysis. Qualitative interviews with study participants will shed light on the motives behind the use of specific information sources and will complement the quantitative, computer-assisted analyses.

  • Background

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    The digital transformation has led to a change in the information behaviour of young adults. Researchers currently assume that this age group is undersupplied in terms of news or that these individuals avoid news. Adopting a multi-method study design, our project reacts to this finding and analyses the digital information repertoires of 18- to 25-year-olds.

  • Aim

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    The aim of the project is to generate more in-depth knowledge regarding the information behaviour of young adults. In cooperation with journalistic media organisations, we will also determine the extent to which professional journalism can regain the interest of the young adult target group.

  • Relevance

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    Thanks to our project it will be possible, for the very first time, to systematically record the digital media menu of young adults. The study is methodologically innovative because it contributes to the further development of the online tracking procedure and shows how the quality of the collected sources can be evaluated by an automated process. The project is important for journalistic media practice inasmuch as it shows how young user groups can be interested in high-quality, journalistic content.

  • Original title

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    The Relevance of Journalism in the Digital Information Repertoires of Young Adults