Now more than ever, those of us from Gen Z like me, turn to social media to get our news fix.
These habits are prompting news organisations to rethink how they reach younger audiences.
Mainstream media has fully embraced digital platforms – with a focus on publishing content that drives engagement socially.
And now we are seeing the advent of new platforms specifically targeting Gen Z – those born between 1997 and 2019.
Chief among these is The News Movement (TNM).
The premise of TNM is to deliver unbiased and factual information to my generation. Co-founder, and former BBC editorial director, Kamal Ahmed says that he wants to make news easier and more convenient, asking only the questions of “what happened and why”. It is their mission to “explain our world”.
On a personal level, that seems a condescending sentiment: Who says as a generation we are less able to understand news than those older than us? Why do we need things “explained” to us, like we’re still at school?
Despite only 27% of Gen Z reading newspapers, young people are no less aware of news stories. Studies show that the average teenager consults at least two different news sources daily, strongly favouring digital formats. 68% of Gen Z adults turn to social media for news at least once a week, which is significantly higher than the 30% who reported using online-only news sites.
TNM appears to believe we have short attention spans – so their reports are generally brief videos presented by a reporter. While it certainly provides a bite-size overview of the story – there’s little of the depth that can be found elsewhere.
TNM says it plans to monetize its audience by creating branded content, collaborating with companies to produce social content and generating reader revenue through digital tipping and micropayments.
The way that we are consuming news has changed drastically in recent years and TNM are right in thinking that there is a demand for convenient and condensed news stories.
However, the implications that as Gen Z we need stories dumbing down and delivered by news-influencers feels patronising and borderline insulting.
Ultimately Gen Z doesn’t need a new platform to understand current affairs. We’re quite capable of that already.
By Milly Earnshaw-White