Merrill Brown, founding editor of MSNBC.com, has written an excellent report for the Carnegie Reporter about young people's changing habits of news consumption and what they mean for the future of the news industry. Mostly due to technological innovations, especially the Internet, Brown says that younger generations' habits have already been changed permanently, and that traditional news sources will have to adapt accordingly if they want to survive. Probably the most frightening part of the report for newspapers are the data that put the Internet ahead of newspapers in virtually every readership survey; "newspapers have no clear strengths and are the least preferred choice for local, national and international news." Brown feels that newspapers' as well as television news sources' reluctance or weak attempts to adapt to the Internet are further jeopardizing the future of these mediums because it has become clear that young people are not going to ever adopt the same news consumption habits known in past generations.
"Even if the daily newspaper industry's advertising revenue dwarfs its Internet business, the future of the American newspaper will be defined online from both a future readership point of view and perhaps in terms of future revenue streams as well. It is tie for print industry investments in Internet products to match the online audience size and the extraordinary magnitude of the migration to digital news delivery."