Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Fill in the blanks: What’s still missing from the study of fake news? (A whole lot.)
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Aug. 21, 2015, 11:50 a.m.
Audience & Social

Millennials of all races and ethnicities are about as likely to use Facebook as a source for news, but African Americans and Hispanics between the ages of 18 and 34 are more likely than their white peers to use Instagram and YouTube as news sources, according to a survey released today by the American Press Institute.

Thirty-eight percent of Hispanic millennials and 33 percent of African-American millennials said they get news from YouTube at least once a day, compared to 20 percent of their white peers. Similarly, 45 percent of African Americans said they used Instagram to get news at least once a day, while 30 percent of Hispanics and 19 percent of white millennials said the same.


Facebook is a common news source among all millennials, with more than half of all three subgroups accessing news on Facebook daily, the survey found.


Millennials also tend to use Facebook in similar ways, as the survey found that African Americans, Hispanics, and whites tend to read or watch stories, like stories, and share stories at similar rates. The only major difference the survey found was that African Americans are more likely to comment on news stories they see on Facebook: 48 percent of African Americans responded that they regularly comment on news stories, compared to 30 percent of whites and 29 percent of Hispanics.

The survey asked respondents about how they follow 24 different news topics, and the researchers found significant differences for nine of those topics among different races and ethnicities:

African American Millennials report following some lifestyle topics at higher rates than their peers. Overall, 35 percent of Millennials follow news about celebrities or pop culture. However, 56 percent of African Americans say they follow this type of news, about double the proportions of whites (29 percent) and Hispanics (28 percent) who say they follow this type of news. Similarly, just 26 percent of Millennials follow news about style, beauty, and fashion. Yet half of African Americans do so, making them about twice as likely as Hispanics (26 percent) and nearly three times as likely as whites (18 percent) to follow these topics.


The full study is available here.

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