The contemporary “crisis of journalism” is attributable to traditional news media’s failure to keep up with the digital revolution, whose decline is almost inevitable. We’re slowly but surely moving towards an increasingly digital, mobile, and social media environment, with the competition booming more cutthroat.
An ever-increasing number of people are consuming news on mobile devices and rely on social media regarding how they access and find information. Young adults have a greater reliance on digital and social media; they don’t read newspapers at all. Having discovered they can access news online for free, many don’t bother to buy newsprint papers.
It’s natural to think and do things differently – it’s the generational gap. Innovation is a topic of intense interest amongst the youth, translating into what they look for in the news. Younger generations need and crave news to connect their world to the world, yet forms of communication used before the internet age aren’t the most effective approach for achieving that. Younger audiences rely increasingly on social media sources for news. The least popular social media site for news among its users is WhatsApp. TikTok ranks at the top of the list, with Gen Zers more inclined to get their news from this site.
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14% Of Gen Zers Reported Using TikTok to Browse Major News Events
Google Search is the go-to platform for U.S. adults to research major news events, but that’s quite not the case for Gen Zers, who prefer TikTok more than previous generations. TikTok is the new Facebook, and it’s shaping the future for publishers. Brands can genuinely connect with, inspire, and entertain audiences, driving broader engagement and real-world action. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, 14% of the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials find and research news stories on TikTok. The survey isn’t reassuring reading for news providers, yet for experienced news creators, it doesn’t come as a surprise.
Google is becoming a less-prominent search platform for Gen Zers due to information overload and the monetization of different search segments. It’s harder than it’s ever been to find answers that feel authoritative and uncompromised. TikTok emerged as a news source despite traditional media, even if most research and stories originate from legacy media. Search engine referrals may someday become sparse, so publishers can’t afford to wait or restrict their most compelling coverage to their websites. As Gen Z builds wealth, it’s paramount to establish a more substantial presence on the platform.
News Publishers Like The New York Times Have Launched TikTok Accounts
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to convince young adults to read a newspaper instead of using the Internet. This reason is essentially the same across countries: price. Apparently, nothing can persuade non-subscribers to pay for news, not even a lower price, more relevant content, or less advertising. As TikTok has come to dominate the social media scene, journalism has strenuously tried to break through on the platform. Not surprisingly, The New York Times now produces videos on TikTok. Other major publishers are on the social media site, of which examples are The Wall Street Journal, The Daily Mail, BBC, The Washington Post, and The Telegraph.
With several clips posted weekly, users can engage with content about how we live, work, and parent, amongst others. Posting videos on TikTok isn’t always the first choice for a journalist or news outlet, and it’s not hard to understand why. Some feel uncomfortable on camera, while others lack video training. According to the experts at TikCeleb, there’s a common belief that TikTok is just for teens, although everyone can use the app and share videos. In any event, investing more resources into social platform posts, such as vertical videos on TikTok, is essential. Legacy publishers can bring loyal, older readers to the site by leveraging short-form video content creation.
The influence of social media platforms like Facebook is declining with time. More precisely, fewer audiences trust traditional media, preferring to access news through TikTok. TikToker Kelsey Russel reads full newspaper articles out loud to followers, succeeding in doing what media executives have been striving for years – encouraging consumer interest in buying newspapers in the big data era. Russel’s popularity has skyrocketed, with younger generations loving every minute of it. Nevertheless, print subscriptions aren’t cheap, so TikToker recommends checking with local community centers, libraries, and schools.
Gen Zers Have a Different Idea of What May Be Considered Newsworthy
Younger generations have more extensive definitions of what may be regarded as newsworthy. Gen Zers depend on mobile devices and spend more time on TikTok than any other app, so their media consumption is on-demand and algorithmically curated. The outcome is that news on the platform rarely comes from mainstream outlets. Users discover what’s going on around the world via alternative sources, such as commentary accounts or influencers who read the news, so they don’t have to. When young adults don’t have time to read news stories, they rely on headlines. Although many publishers think of Instagram as the platform to reach younger audiences, those in Gen Z don’t see it as the right environment for news.
All things considered, it’s necessary to understand the expectations of younger audiences, as well as their moments of consumption when it comes to their engagement with TikTok. More often than not, Gen Zers pay attention to celebrities, influencers, and social media personalities, and have a keen interest in any kind of news. Regrettably, traditional legacy media plays a minor role in their lives. What The New York Times and young people deem newsworthy is an entirely different story, which is why we should think in terms of content as information, not news.
In the U.S., the share of adults getting regular news from TikTok has increased fourfold, with 14% of young adults relying on the app to stay informed about current events. As for now, publishers can try out AI to attract more media coverage.