How Gen Z consumes news

By Elijah Odhiambo

A new survey by the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) had revealed that the young people, ages between 18-24 years fully rely on legacy media platforms such as television, radio, and digital platforms such as social media, for information, dismissing a perception that they hardly consume legacy media in favor of TikTok and Instagram.

According to the MCK State of the Media Report 2022 released by the MCK CEO David Omwoyo, the report indicates that most youth rely on TV, radio and social media for information.

“The report indicates that young people aged 18-24 years rely fully on legacy media platforms such as television, radio, and digital platforms such as a social media, for information,” the MCK said in a press statement.

In the report, television tops the media consumption rate by Gen Z at 32 percent, closely followed by radio at 30 percent while social media comes third at 23 percent.

For ages 15-17, television still leads at 37 percent, followed by radio at 36 percent and social media at 16 percent.

The trend continues for 25-29, 30-34 and 35 to 39, indicating that millennials also find legacy media more reliable.

According to the report, the Gen Z rarely depend on bloggers, online news websites and hearsay from family and friends to get news. Family/friends/ colleagues and newspapers both contribute 5 percent in the dissemination of information among the young people. Online news websites have a 4 percent influence in terms of the spread of news and other pieces of information as bloggers contribute on 1 percent to news consumption.

General perception of how Gen Z consume media.

Generally, it’s perceived that Gen Z rely on the social media to get information. Half of the young population have access to smartphones and laptops which they use to get news and all updates, according to a US study published by Insider Intelligence. It added that they also rarely rely on updates from televisions and radio.

In general, the MCK study affirmed that television and radio have commended more than a third of media consumption for the past three years. Social media is third.

For TV, prime time is King with the majority watching it from 8pm to midnight. It is followed by 4pm to 8pm. The least consumed time is from 6am to 10am and followed by from 10am to noon.

For radio, the 6am to 10am time is king at 35 percent, followed by 8pm to midnight at 24 percent and third is 4pm to 8pm at 17 percent.

The survey which was conducted in December 2022 also showed that newspaper readership is slowly becoming obsolete.

The findings established that approximately seven out of the ten respondents surveyed do not read newspapers either physically or online. This accounts to 70 percent of the respondents while on the flip side 30 percent confirmed to be reading newspapers mainly due to the 2022 general elections.

Focus has shifted to the social media for information clearly indicating that the future is digital.

Facebook, Whatsapp and YouTube remained the mostly used digital media platforms, according to the report.

Facebook was the mostly consumed media platform by the respondents at 23 percent, Whatsapp second at 22 percent while YouTube came third at 11 percent.

Royal Media Services’ Citizen TV and Radio Citizen topped the list of mostly consumed media outlets.

For two consecutive years, Citizen TV led as the most watched TV station at 36 percent followed by NTV and KBC each at 12 percent. Royal Media owned stations Inooro TV and Ramogi TV followed closely at 6 percent and 3 percent respectively.

The report also revealed that Radio Citizen is the mostly listened to radio station in the country in 2022 with 18 percent of respondents relying on it. Radio Jambo came second at 16 percent as Radio Maisha took the third place at 12 percent.


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