Information Seeking Behaviour of the Millennials

By: Jamshid Beheshti   Joan Bartlett   Rebecca Katz   Anna Couch   Cynthia Kumah  

Current research suggests that today’s generation, those between eighteen and twenty-four years old, may rely heavily on social media for everyday news information. To investigate further the news information-seeking behaviour of the Millennials, we surveyed 22,900 undergraduate students in a tier-one university on their use of news resources and access tools, their perceptions of credibility of resources, and factors determining credibility. The email survey in October 2017 yielded 3565 usable questionnaires (response rate 15.6%; Cronbach’s alpha ranging between 0.884 and 0.992). Data analyses, whilst supporting some of the findings of previous research, show that many Millennials rely on their family and friends as viable news resources. Following Warde’s theory on time (Boterill et al, 2015), our study suggests that time as manifested through convenience may be considered an important factor in deciding on news resources despite potential lack of credibility. Additionally, and in line with previous research (Shearer & Gottfried, 2017), we also detected a major gender effect for news resources and access tools used. However, our analysis also shows gender effect on perceptions of credibility of news resources, and factors determining credibility of resources. Future research on news information-seeking behaviour should focus on the convenience factor, and on the reasons underlying the gender effect.

Media Education Information
Media Literacies
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Jamshid Beheshti

Professor, School of Information Studies, McGill University, Canada
Quebec, Canada

Jamshid Beheshti is a Professor at the School of Information Studies at McGill University, where he has taught for more than three decades. He was the Director of the School for six years, and the Interim Dean and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Education for five years. In Collaboration with his colleagues, he has obtained more than five million dollars in research funds from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Canadian Heritage, and CIDA/Global Affairs Canada. His publications have appeared in the Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, and Information Processing & Management, among other international journals. He has consulted on several projects in various organizations, including the Library and Archives Canada, the Institutes of Higher Education in Indonesia, and many other international institutions. His research is on the information behaviour of children and the millennials. Google Scholar i10-index: 53

Joan Bartlett

Associate Professor, McGill University, Canada

Rebecca Katz

Doctoral student, McGill University, Canada

Anna Couch

Doctoral Candidate, McGill University, Canada

Cynthia Kumah

Doctoral Candidate, McGill University, Canada