Digital Media Consumption Among Teens
Jeff Cole, Director of the World Internet Project, sees the present as a critically important time in understanding how digital media is impacting the way we think, learn and socially interact.
Cole spoke with Technorati following his keynote address at ictQATAR’s Digital Media Literacy Forum, held in March 2010.
Technorati: Children and teens are said to be “Digital Natives,” but does being a digital native necessarily mean becoming digitally literate?
Jeff Cole: Being a digital native means you’re not afraid of the technology, don’t think it’s anything special, use it easily and you’re comfortable with it. Our partners in Sweden show that half the five-year olds in Sweden are online! To be a digital native is not to be impressed [by technology] – but just think: that’s the way it is, but it doesn’t mean necessarily that you really understand the best use of technology.
One of the problems that digital natives have is that they don’t understand where information comes from, what’s reliable and what can be [regarded] as good information.
TR:Is it true that teens are no longer interested in reading newspapers online?
JC:Today, teenagers don’t read newspapers and we don’t think they ever will. Teenagers around the world have figured out that what happens half way around the world could change their lives. They are well informed; they just go to papers – but go online. In every country we’re in, whenever internet penetration gets to 30%, offline newspaper sales decline.
And every time a newspaper reader dies, they are not being replaced by a new reader. In the US, the San Francisco Chronicle has lost 25% of its circulation in the last 12 months.Continued on the next page