News as They Know It: Young Adults’ Information Repertoires in the Digital Media Landscape

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Despite an “audience turn” in journalism studies, confusion persists about the experiences driving audience engagement. Young adults are especially intriguing in this regard, as they have grown up in digital environments, are less willing to pay for journalism, and lack key historical catalysts for the formation of news habits. Accordingly, this article investigates the information repertoires of this group, using a mixed-method approach to focus upon the preferences and experiences of Danish youth, aged 18–24. Crafting an innovative research design integrating individual interviews, Q-sort methodology, and think aloud protocols, the article explores five repertoires: the online traditionalist, depth-seeking audiophile, digital news seeker, interpersonal networker, and non-news information seeker. In these repertoires, “traditional” journalistic media is often eschewed, while “new” media come to the fore. The paper also examines two analytical themes cutting across repertoires: a tension between the seamlessness of where news is (“platform newsiness”) versus how it is conceptualized (“traditional journalism”); and the guiding role of face-to-face communication and social networks when engaging with news. In sum, by exploring the formation of information repertoires at this crucial life stage, the article provides insights into a key demographic, whose practices and preferences shape the news industry’s ongoing sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Journalism
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)62-86
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Important note from the publisher regarding the attached version of the article: “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Digital Journalism on 23 Mar 2021, available online:”


  • Facebook
  • Q-sort methodology
  • face-to-face communication
  • interviews
  • life stage
  • news audiences
  • news repertoires
  • popular culture
  • social media
  • young adults

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