Millennials are incredibly savvy media consumers. They’re the first generation to experience non-traditional news sources as a norm, yet they’re also highly critical of sources that aren’t considered truthful. In fact, Ypulse – a leading authority on young consumers – recently found that 74% of 18 to 36-year-olds identify ‘fake news’ as one of the biggest problems in society today.

Social media news angst

Looking deeper, Millennials believe social media sites (like Facebook and Twitter) are huge offenders when it comes to spreading fake news. A substantial 72% of Millennials think social media is full of fake news and they want it to stop. The majority of Millennials say social media companies have a responsibility to stop the spread of inaccurate or misleading stories. Some social media sources are starting to listen to this powerful consumer group. For example, Facebook is now fighting fake news by ranking publishers by their trustworthiness, and YouTube has begun pairing searches for conspiracy theory videos with text boxes linking to trusted coverage.

Newspapers remain relevant

While social media news outlets scramble to gain the trust of Millennials, what sources already have it? Much like generations before them, Millennials still believe traditional news sources (with a modern twist) are the most trustworthy. Although Millennials aren’t as likely to subscribe to a newspaper, they do go to websites owned by newspapers for information they trust. An impressive 82% of Millennials say websites run by print newspapers are their most trusted sources for news. Within this category, the newspaper websites Millennials trust the most are: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

Biggest takeaway

When it comes to news, Millennials are aware, engaged, and highly skeptical. Media outlets and corporations need to be aware that this generation is looking at information with a powerful and critical lens. The truth, facts, and transparency matter to these valuable consumers. Through Varsity TV, Varsity has a highly engaged audience that returns again and again to stay up to date in the latest in cheerleading and dance news. With over 15,000 subscribers, brands have an incredible opportunity to expose their brand to Millennials and Gen Z on a platform that this demographic trusts. By partnering with Varsity Spirit, connecting with media-savvy Millennials and Gen Z has never been easier.  Varsity Spirit is here to support your brand.  To learn more contact our sponsorship representatives by clicking here.