Digital news in demand by young people

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    Young people are more willing to pay for online news than any other age group according to the latest major study of internet habits.

    Eleven thousand internet users from nine countries were surveyed, finding that 25 to 34 year olds were twice as likely to pay for access to digital news than older readers.

    The study, which carried out by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, found that 20 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds had paid for digital news, whereas just 10 per cent of over 50s had done the same.

    Changes in public attitudes are being credited with the increase of people willing to pay for digital news, with the percentage more than doubling over the last year, growing from just 4 per cent to 9 per cent.

    “We’re starting to see significant shifts in public attitudes towards online news, with more people starting to pay for digital news or seeming to accept that in future they will probably have to pay for a service they currently get free,” said Nic Newman, the author of the study.

    “Paywalls and apps are no longer regarded as novelties, but are now increasingly part of everyday life for many of those wanting access to news”.

    It was also found that 49 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds read a digital newspaper, which is the highest percentage of any age range. More than two-thirds of this age group said they had read a national newspaper in any format in the week prior to the survey, compared to 72 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34.