Study reports 3 out of 10 young adults are 'newsless'

By Talise Settle

For News Engagement Day Oct. 6, I went around the Hampton University campus and interviewed five people on whether or not they are in tune with the newspaper at home. Chanel Robinson, a junior biochemistry major from Waterbury, Conn., said her hometown newspaper is the Waterbury Republican American. She reads it to see who was arrested and also for the strange crimes people commit.

She says that people in Connecticut small towns do strange things. For example, one man stole a school bus. When caught driving it, he said it was his bus, then asked the police if they wanted a ride. Her family also reads the paper. They read it to get local news and know what's going on around them.

Nate King, a junior criminal justice major from Trenton, N.J., said he and his family read the Trentonian. He doesn't read it as much as his parents and grandparents, but more than his friends. They read it to stay updated with news around them. They like to make sure they're on the "up and up" with things going on in New Jersey. The Trentonian not only covers New Jersey, but a little bit of New York as well, so that's added value.

Diamond Robinson is a sophomore sociology major originally from Richmond, Va. However, she moved to South Boston, Va. and her new home newspaper is the Gazette-Virginian.

She occasionally reads it just to know about current events in her town. There isn't much to do, said Robinson, so she looks at to see what's happening or coming up. Her mother also reads it for those same reasons. Robinson says the Gazette-Virginian did a good job of letting them know what is going on.

Taylor Grisson, a junior sports management major from Chicago, said her newspaper is called The Beacon News. She doesn't read the newspaper because it doesn't interest her. She'd rather watch TV news. The only time she looks at the newspaper is for the sports section. Her mother also would rather watch the news on TV, rather than read about it.

Imani Baldwin, a junior psychology major from Washington, D.C., said the newspaper in her area is The Gazette, which covers suburban Maryland Montgomery and Prince George's counties. She reads the paper, but not regularly. If there was something that Baldwin knew was coming up, she'll look at the paper for the times and dates. Other than that, neither she nor her family looks at the paper.

In this day and age, newspapers aren't as popular as they used to be, and especially not for young people. They'd rather look it up online or watch it on TV.

Personally, I look at the Baltimore Sun, specifically for the Ravens or the Orioles. If the paper happens to be on my table and something sticks out, I'll pick it up. But other than that, it's a no go.

I was surprised to see that more than half of my interviewees read their paper consistently. It was interesting to see what they look for or what they don't.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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