Lowenstein-Barkai, Hila, and Lev-On, Azi. (Accepted for Publication). News videos consumption in an age of new media: A comparison between adolescents and adults in Israel. Journal of Children and Media.
Contemporary audiences have abundant access to news anywhere, anytime and through a wide range of media. Due to the short length of news items, they do not require prolonged attentional focus. Consequently, the genre is consequential for performing simultaneous activities, which are related (i.e. second screening) or unrelated (i.e. media multitasking) to the content of the news items. Despite the potential of second screen activities to increase the political participation of young people, and the fact that adolescents are heavy users of digital media, there is almost no data on the extent to which they perform such activities. Also, there are almost no comparative data about the rates of news video consumption of adolescents vs. adults. This descriptive study analyzes how adolescents and adults consume news video content in an era of second screens. For four consecutive days, subjects reported their viewing behaviors using a dedicated mobile application. Results demonstrate that adolescents consume significantly less news video content compared to adults; smartphones occupy a more prominent role in their news consumption behavior compared to adults; and they are significantly more involved in Second Screening activities. Implications of the findings for understanding adolescents’ contemporary media ecology are examined.