Nebenbei, mobil und ohne Ziel? Eine Mehrmethodenstudie zu Nachrichtennutzung und -verständnis von jungen Erwachsenen


Particularly among young adults, the use and consumption of news and information has changed in the past years. The reliance on smartphones and the popularity of social media in this age group suggests that the use of news is increasingly shaped by situational and social contexts, depending on more or less ‘accidental’ encounters with individual news stories. However, we still know little about whether and to what extent there is a connection between how users experience news in current information environments, and the importance news have in their everyday lives. In particular, we do not know whether and to what extent (new) consumption practices challenge users’ basic understanding of what constitutes news. We thus examine how young adults understand and define ‘news (use)’ today and investigate when, where, and how they inform themselves about current events. Addressing our research questions, we employed a ten-day diary study (realized via WhatsApp) and conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with 47 student participants aged 18 to 24. The results suggest a minor importance of news in the everyday life of young adults, even among well-educated ones. Moreover, the study demonstrates how difficult it seems to define ‘news (use)’, highlighting the disparity between a normative demand for ‘good’ news and one’s actual consumption patterns.



Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft