When it comes to where younger Americans get news about politics and government, social media looks to be the local TV of the Millennial generation. Some 61% of Millennial report getting political news on Facebook in a given week, a much larger percentage than turn to any other news source, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C.
This stands in stark contrast to Internet-using Baby Boomers, for whom local TV tops the list of sources for political news at nearly the same reach (60%). At the same time, Millennial' relatively low reliance on local TV for political news (37%) almost mirrors Baby Boomers' comparatively low reliance on Facebook (39%).
Gen Xers, who bridge the age gap between Millennial and Baby Boomers, also bridge the gap between these news sources. Fifty-one percent of Gen Xers get political and government news on Facebook in a given week and 46% do so on local TV.
Even just looking at members of each generation who are on Facebook, Millennial still stand out for seeing somewhat more political content on the site. Twenty-four percent of Millennial who use Facebook say at least half of the posts they see on the site relate to government and politics, higher than both Gen Xers (18%) and Baby Boomers (16%). This occurs even though Millennial express less interest in political news. Twenty-six percent of Millennial select politics and government as one of the three topics they are most interested in (out of a list of nine). That is lower than both Gen Xers (34%) and Baby Boomers (45%).
A longer-term question that arises from this data is what younger Americans' reliance on social media for news might mean for the...