Two reports were issued amidst the pre-election buzz that deserve the attention of nonprofit communicators, especially those working in advocacy organizations.

The first study, from Pew Research Center, shows that the internet now surpasses all media except television as a preferred source for political news. A big jump from 2004. And what is really striking is the generational aspect of this, as seen in this table.

And as for television, cable networks are mentioned two-to-one over broadcast nets.

I’ll make the not-too-dangerous assumption that the same sourcing preferences apply to public issue-related news. If you need to promote a cause, the media landscape that must be navigated to get your message out is changing dramatically.

And to whom do you need to "sell" your message … and how?

The second study, from the Society for New Communications Research Symposium, looks at Millenial generation journalists (those under-30), in comparison to older journalists, and makes the not-astonishing finding that the new generation of journalists totally embrace new media — blogs, social nets, online sources like Wikipedia — both as sources and as means of connecting more deeply with their readers.

As this report from Mediapost observes: "… the younger journalists entering the workforce are adopting new media and social tools more readily and seeing their value, especially in terms of collaborating with their peers and strengthening their relationships with their audiences and the people in the areas they cover."

I can’t, of course, generalize about age and early adoption; nor can I endorse age discrimination. But I can counsel … if you’re hiring communications staff from the journalism world, make sure they understand, use creatively and totally embrace new media!


P.S. Speaking of generations, have you registered for our next Agitator Editors Tele-briefing on Friday Dec 12th, at 2-3pm eastern. You can register here for your free seat. The official topic is "Giving Across the Generations."

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