News Consumption

I don’t have a TV at home so I rely heavily on my smartphone and my laptop to read news online. I don’t drive so I only occasionally listen to the radio app on my iPad or sometimes on my phone. Personally speaking, the best ways for news agencies to channel contents to me are through mobile news apps, social networks such as Facebook and Instagram and online content. I think even people have TV now rely more heavily on their mobile devices to get information.

The swiftness of how people consume news definitely change the way and content publications deliver. News distribution now is more tailored to online platform users. For young people like me and even for older generations, Facebook is becoming one of the major source where we get news from. I often get a peep of what is going on in the world by reading what my friends on social post online. News contents now have to be more social. In the past, we read news sources from newspaper or on television and news consumption is rather passive. We now consume news in a more interactive manner — we can ‘like’ the news articles or videos on Facebook, we can leave comments and discuss with other people, we can share posts. The way audience react to the news content also affect how the news agencies produce their stories.

I don’t spend very long time on one news article or videos, averaging 5 minutes for text pieces and a minute or two on videos. I think people don’t have long time span either. So news agencies need to encounter the changes and try to pack information in a short video or whatever platform they are using. Sometimes it raises the question — can the quality of news being maintained given the tighter time and more compact context?

I read Los Angeles Times and New York Times, two of the subscriptions that I have, every morning when I wake up — with my phone when I am still in bed or laptop when I actually sit at my desk trying to work. On average I spend around $15 a month on news subscriptions (yes, with student discount and promotions of course). I usually read news from the papers that I subscribe to because I have unlimited access to all the contents. I do read news from other publication but there are always quotas of free articles. The way news agencies use to monetize news right now is by limiting one’s access to all the contents and make readers pay if they want to read or watch more. But as information flow is getting more and more freely, especially with social network, it’s getting harder for news agencies to monetize their content by just having subscriptions.