HIGH LIFE : 9 of 10 Young Adults Read a Newspaper


“Newspapers--maybe more than any other medium, including television--continue to shape our knowledge of the world,” Robert McNergney writes in the September issue of NEA Today, the newspaper of the National Education Assn.

“Recent research by Krisch, Junglut and Rock suggests that reading newspapers is a part of everyday life for many young adults in America,” writes McNergney, an associate professor at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. “The researchers draw their conclusions from interviews of a nationally representative sample of 3,600 young adults aged 21 to 25.

“The highlights:

“Nine out of 10 young adults say they read a newspaper at least once a week. About 45% say they read a paper daily. Only 2% say they never read a newspaper.


“The level of readers’ educational attainment is strongly related to the frequency of their newspaper reading. The percentage who reported reading a newspaper on a daily basis increased with each level of education completed.

“That is, 24% of those with eight years of schooling or less read a newspaper daily, as compared to 38% with some high school education, 41% of those with a high school diploma, and 52% of those with a college degree.

“More men than women--49% versus 41%--report reading a newspaper on a daily basis.

“More people in the Northeast report daily readership than those in other regions of the country.

“Race and ethnicity had nothing to do with how frequently young adults read newspapers.

“More than 80% of young adults read news. About 86% read comics, TV and movie listings and classified ads; 63% read society news, reviews and horoscopes; 45% read sports.

“What young adults read is related to their level of education attainment. Almost 92% of young adults with a college degree read news compared to about 53% of those with less than eight years of schooling.

“The amount of TV young people watch does not affect their newspaper reading frequency. However, those who didn’t read news were more inclined to be heavy TV watchers.”

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”

--Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

“All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.”

--Bobby Knight, basketball coach