Teens and the News: The Influencers, Celebrities, and Platforms They Say Matter Most, 2020
July 21, 2020
The rise of social media personalities and influencers as part of the news media landscape has given young people new ways to access information, understand biases, and think critically about how the news affects their lives (or doesn't). This report surveyed a nationally representative group of 804 kids age 13 to 18 in January 2020, asking how they get their news, how much they trust different news sources, and more. This report is a follow-up to our 2017 study on this topic, News and America's Kids, which asked kids age 10 to 18 similar questions about how they engaged with and understood the news.
Although the 2020 study was conducted before the coronavirus pandemic reached the U.S., it offers valuable insights into how teens have gravitated toward social media platforms and other nontraditional news sources over the past three years. And now, as the pandemic exacerbates political and social strife, misinformation, and online divisions, it's even more important to understand where the next generation is getting its news.