Pew: Millennials look to Facebook for political news

WASHINGTON — When it comes to politics, millennials are looking to Facebook for their news coverage.

A Pew Research Center survey found that 61 percent of millennials said they got political news from Facebook when given 42 options to choose from. The options included five social networking sites, 36 specific news outlets and local TV.

People born from 1981 to 1996 are millennials, according to Pew. 

In comparison, 60 percent of baby boomers said they relied on TV News

Despite that contrast there were similarities. The survey found that CNN was looked to by 44 percent of millennials as well as 45 percent of gen Xers and 43 percent of baby boomers.

Even though millennials chose Facebook from the list of 42 options, only 3 percent chose Facebook when asked to name their source for political news without looking to a list. Pew researchers found that this coincides with earlier research indicating that Facebook is a “common but incidental” experience.

The Pew study indicates that the number of people from each generation looking to Facebook for political news corresponds with the number of people from that generation already on Facebook.

For example, 87 percent of millennials are on Facebook, 77 percent of gen Xers and 57 percent of baby boomers.

In general, political interest is lower for millennials. When choosing from a list of nine topics, 26 percent of millennials included politics in their top three. For baby boomers it was 45 percent while for gen Xers it was 34 percent.

The research on millennials and political news on Facebook is part of a larger research project about millennials and political news in general. Click here to read the full report.

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