“ Newspapers and young audiences: a relationship of participation or rejection?” -

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“ Newspapers and young audiences: a relationship of participation or rejection?”

Dr. Anna Panagiotarea - Dr. Dimitra Dimitrakopoulou. Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. “The Future of Newspapers”. Cardiff, 12 & 13 September 2007.

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“ Newspapers and young audiences: a relationship of participation or rejection?”

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“Newspapers and young audiences: a relationship of participation or rejection?”

Dr. Anna Panagiotarea - Dr. Dimitra DimitrakopoulouDepartment of Journalism and Mass CommunicationAristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

“The Future of Newspapers”

Cardiff, 12 & 13 September 2007



“Young people are reading…everything but newspapers!” The young reading audience of newspapers is rapidly diminishing. Fewer people are reading newspapers and the decline in newspaper readership is greatest among young adults. This new ‘blood’ of readers is today more than necessary for the future development of newspapers.


Relevant questions & worries

Declining rates of newspaper readership are greatest among young people. Why is this happening and how should this issue be addressed? Are young people interested in news and information? How does technology affect their daily media consumption? What are their habits and ‘rituals’ in matters of information seeking?


Our research questions

What are their reading habits and which media do they choose for their daily information? On which criteria do they base their preference/rejection? What do they think of journalists? Do they consider themselves well-informed and if so, in which areas? What do they think of the future development of the media?


Newspaper reading habits in Greece

Greece has a low newspaper copy penetration of about 8% and an average issue readership of approximately 55%Greece enjoys a large number of newspapers (59)Greece has one of the highest numbers of newspapers relative to the size of the market, and therefore one of the lowest average circulations.


Methodology of our research

Age group: 18-25. Time period of study: November 2006 to February 2007. Method: structured questionnaire / personal, face-to-face interviews. Total sample: 634 young people from all over Greece.



The participants in our study constitute an upper level sample in matters of education.


Time devoted to news (I)


Time devoted to news (II)


Frequency of news watching/reading/listening


Media use

The mass medium that youngsters choose at weekdays is the television (87%), followed by the radio (34%), the newspapers (29%) and the Internet (29%). During the weekend the television seems as an attractive informational tool (79%). Newspapers, the Internet and the radio get 59%, 28% and 24% respectively.Newspaper readership climbs up during weekends.Internet usage is also higher during weekends since young people find more time to ‘surf’ the Net.


Level of satisfaction with newspapers


not at all



very much


speed of







rich content







easy access













Level of satisfaction with newspapers

Newspapers seem to be more that quite satisfying (77%) in matters of the information that they offer. Contradiction: why is newspaper readership declining when young readers feel highly satisfied with the press?


Attitude towards journalists

The results are not surprising taken into consideration that the journalistic profession lacks in credibility and trust among citizensMain reason for satisfaction: the presence of a few good journalists (78%). Main reason for dissatisfaction:

the dependence of journalists from decision-making centers (30%)



Future developments of the media field


Gender differences (I)

During weekdays mostly men read newspapers (37% men and only 22% women) and surf the Net more than women do (38% men and only 22% women).The majority of women gets informed by television (93% women in contrast to 85% of men) and the radio (39% women and only 30% men). At weekends the picture changes and the gaps on information seeking between genders disappear.Differences are observed only in the case of the Internet (38% men prefer it in contrast to 20% of women).


Gender differences (II)

The level of satisfaction is the same for men and women in the cases of the newspapers, the Internet and the radio, whereas their attitudes differ in the case of television. Women appear more satisfied with television in comparison with men (51% women vs 40% men).Men appear to be more critical towards journalists: 39% have a negative opinion while the percentage declines among women media users (28%).


Concluding remarks (I)

The trends seem to be contradictory: young citizens trust newspapers but are reluctant in reading them. Television is still the predominant medium which occupies most of their free time. The lack of time is preceded as their main and strongest argument. Young people seem to want to be better informed, but instead they are uninformed or – even worse – under- or misinformed.


Concluding remarks (II)

The reluctance of young people to read the papers is not associated to their indifference in social and political problems. It is more an expression of their growing mistrust and disappointment towards political and media institutions which appear to be interrelated and interconnected on the basis of their common political and financial interests. This is the price to be paid for media operating as pure businesses.


Concluding remarks (III)

Impact factors:The familiarization with newspapers from their childhood and during school years. Cultivation of newspaper reading and interest in social and political among the circle of family and friends. Internet offers the opportunity for newspapers to become more interactive, involving this way their young readers into an active ‘dialogue’. Future research:Detailed study of the wants and needs of young media users

Possibilities of the interrelated development of the Net and the press.