From Reynolds Journalism Institute
A capstone team at the Missouri School of Journalism worked with BuzzFeed to find the answer to one complex question: What does Gen Z celebrate? While finding the answer, they were to develop personality profiles that captured what it’s like to be a member of Gen Z and give BuzzFeed three to five content suggestions that would appeal to the growing audience.
After four months of sifting through research, distributing surveys and conducting focus groups, the team learned more about Gen Z and modern media consumption habits than they anticipated. It’s usually agreed that Gen Z encompasses those born between 1995-2012. For their research, they focused on those who are currently ages 16-25 (born 1995-2004). Newsrooms can’t ignore Gen Z and the sooner they embrace learning about it, the more successful they’ll be in producing appealing content to the generation full of digital natives
The team shares their findings and suggestions for connecting with this demographic:
They feel inundated with negativity
Their research shows that Gen Z feels overwhelmed by the amount of negativity in the news. Other audiences may have a similar reaction, but no other generation has had so much exposure to the media. This generation of digital natives seem to eat, sleep and breathe content consumption. Younger generations have turned to social media as a form of relief and escape from the stress of real life.
… The team suggest that outlets double down on highlighting positive events that are happening. It might not feel like the most groundbreaking journalism, but adding a positivity column or spotlighting something good in the community can make a difference in a Gen Z reader’s consumption.