What Will Today's Young Want In 20 Years?


Our co-founder and editor Jeff Israely occasionally writes for The Nieman Lab about the evolution of Worldcrunch since its conception. In his latest piece, he discusses the tension between the digital news industry’s pursuit of millennial readers and the importance of maintaining  journalistic quality and integrity. But he points to a less frequent question: What kind of news sources will these millennials want to read in a few years, once they’ve … grown up? Do they even exist now? And if not, is anyone building them?

How far then should we all take this pursuit of the treasured “readers of tomorrow?” One thing we tend to forget in this pile-on pursuit of eternal youth is that our target demographic of the moment is bound to grow older. In light of this biological truth, then, maybe we should start to ask what millennials — this first generation of readers/users/producers/consumers born on the Internet — will actually be like in, say, 2035? It’s hard to know if they’ll still be on Facebook; perhaps (hopefully?) emoji use and Snapchat output will have ebbed. Other new stuff we can’t imagine will no doubt be keeping them connected and competing for their attention.

Still there are certain things we can count on 20 years from now for the current flock of millennials: Few will have yet reached the risky grandpa-or-grandma-in-a-nightclub demographic. Instead, it’s safe to say there will be no shortage of onetime 20-something hipsters who have turned into 40-something dads and moms. What stories and information will matter to them? How will they want it packaged and delivered? We should be busy building those news products right now.

You can read the full article here, and check out his previous posts about running a media startup.

[Photo: Edwin Remsberg/VW Pics/ZUMA]