Millennials Are NOT “Tuning In”

The million dollar question, why aren’t millennials attracted to television news? Or perhaps, news in general. Why aren’t millennials (those born from 1980-2000) sitting down and enjoying the morning or evening news, such as our parents did? These are some of the questions being raised by networks, companies, newspapers… What are millennials attracted to?

I, as a millennial, may not have THE answer to this question. But I do have a few.

For the past few months, I’ve been researching, reading, comparing data, writing, putting it all together and coming to find a few things.

1. News is extremely redundant. It’s almost the same for every outlet. Same news, expressed differently, different hour, different talent.

2. It seems to be more about the talent than it is about the news.

3. It’s boring.

4. It’s old.

According to a Pew study (2013), nearly 3 in 4 young americans (ages 18-29) now cite the Internet as their main source of news.

Why? Millennials like having control of what they watch or read.ย The most detailed study to date of the 18- to 29-year-old Millennial generation finds this group probably will be the most educated in American history. They are confident and connected. Not connected to television, but yes, connected via social media & the web.

About 80% log on to Social Media every single day.

The reason as to why I was inspired to even write this entry was not to provide stats in regards to social media. Instead, I wanted to feature a unique project that drew my attention, the attention of my classmates…all because it was different. I am talking about, “Reframing Mexico”.

Reframing Mexico was a project initiated by UNC-Chapel Hill in collaboration with Monterrey Tec University. Together, a group of students and journalists produced a series of stories all coming from Mexico. This project introduces us to stories that we don’t often come across in television news or news in general. Instead, how many times have we heard of the dangers in Mexico? We all know who “Chapo Guzmรกn is”, and “drug-trafficking in Mexico” seems to be a never-ending headline.

There are other stories to cover; there are different and new techniques that are a lot more intriguing.

This project is made up of twelve stories. Stories are summed up to 3-4 minutes using photography, video, voice-overs, interviews, close-ups, wide shots, natural sounds, and a lot of detail. It’s engaging, informative…. and why don’t we ever see this on television?

I’ll leave you to watch my favorite, a story titled, “Enough to Survive”.

Enough to Survive from UNC | Carolina Photojournalism on Vimeo.

You can also check out the entire project by visiting,ย

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Do you have statistics that aggregate the viewership of all the diverse news outlets on TV? Thus our parents only had a couple of options for news and it was a social event in many ways to sit down together and watch the news. Now the market is so fragmented that we can go to whatever news outlet we want for the type of news we want(ESPN, FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, etc etc). That would be an interesting comparison to news viewership before 1980.

    I definitely agree with the redundant news coverage, and I think the point on Mexico(I’m getting my PhD in History, dissertation on Mexico) is well taken. That said, I think in general news coverage is boring and faulty by concentrating so much on negatives. There are so many interesting news stories out there that can be covered, but it just seems like the negative stories are pushed so often by the media thinking that that is what people want.