For years, researchers and social critics have worried that the newest generation of adults is far less interested in news than those who grew up in the pre-digital age.
Much of the concern stemmed from data that suggest adults aged 18-34 (so-called Millennials) do not visit news sites, read print newspapers or even watch television news. This generation instead, spends more time on social networks, often on mobile devices.
Millennials are voracious consumers of news on social media so why aren’t they interested in what’s happening around in their local communities?
It’s most likely attributed to the medium. Here in Ghana, local newspapers like the Daily Guide and Daily Graphic are struggling to keep their feet on the ground. Truth be told, the advertisement spaces in these dailies are used to market cars and announce obituaries rather, than actual news that millennials are interested in.
Google through its Digital News Initiative is supporting a startup called Otherworld that believes that; saving local news is in location-based storytelling. Otherworld works by placing a network of Google eddystone across a city thus allowing stories to beam directly to the phones of the passersby. The stories disappear when they leave the region hence making the distribution of news articles contingent on the reader’s location.
It’s currently being tested and if successful, would solve the problem of getting young people to engage local news.