The average age of Fox News watchers is 65. As Hollywood Reporter notes:
In a survey released by analyst Steve Sternberg, Fox News has the oldest audience among fully distributed cable networks. The network’s average viewer last season was 65 years old, according to Nielsen. Heck, it’s viewers are even older than viewers of Hallmark Channel, Military Channel and Golf Channel.
Hollywood Reporter notes that the other corporate news networks are greying as well:
CNN wasn’t far behind, though — its average audience was 63. MSNBC was a perky 59.
State of the Media points out:
The Pew Research Center’s biennial consumption survey is conducted in even years. In 2010, the average age of a regular evening news consumer was 53, seven years older than the average American.
This graphic (courtesy of Ed Stephan) shows the U.S. age pyramid from from 1950 through 2050:
male female Population of the United States, by Age and Sex,
information source: International Data Base, U.S. Census Bureau;
supplied pyramids were modified using Canvas, GraphicConverter and GIFBuilder.
[If you can't see the dates at the bottom of the pyramid, click here].
As the National Institutes of Health notes:
The first of the postwar baby boom cohort, born 1946–1964, will turn 55 years in 2001. In just three decades, an extraordinary change in the age structure of the United States is anticipated. By 2030, one in five persons (20% of the U.S. population) will be aged 65 or older, increasing from the present ratio of one in nine persons (12.8%). The number of persons in the 65 and older age group will more than double, increasing from the current 34 million persons to 70 million persons. Moreover, within the older segment of the population, because of longer life expectancy and additional persons reaching older ages, there will be age shifts resulting in the 85 and older population more than doubling in size from 4.3 million persons to approximately 8.9 million persons.
So the average aged viewer will keep on rising for news conveyed on the “dinosaur media“.
A 2012 study by Pew found (via Poynter):
TV remains the most popular source of news, but its audience is aging: “Only about a third (34%) of those younger than 30 say they watched TV news yesterday; in 2006, nearly half of young people (49%) said they watched TV news the prior day,” the report says.
Twenty-eight percent of people 18-29 reported they watched local news regularly. In 2006, the report notes, that figure was 42 percent.
More people under 25 get news from digital (60 percent) than “traditional” sources such as TV, radio and print (43 percent).
But it’s also a question of loss of interest in all news sources by young people. For example, Pew finds (with commentary from Poynter):
Fully 29% of those younger than 25 say they got no news yesterday either from digital news platforms, including cell phones and social networks, or traditional news platforms. That is little changed from 33% in 2010.
As before, the time people 18-29 spend consuming news, on average, is far lower than other groups. News sources are competing with social networking for the attention of people under 25, the study found: “as many used Facebook or another social networking site yesterday as got news from all sources combined (76% vs. 71%).”
Only 5 percent of people under 30 reported they follow news about “political figures and events in Washington” very closely.
The root problem is that young people have lost trust in the “old” media … and in the political system.
The dinosaur media is always pro-war, and happily trumpets disinformation about supposed enemies to drum up support for new wars. Even after the Iraq WMD propaganda was thoroughly debunked, the old media is at it again (and then there’s war-o-tainment.)
Old media also spouts economic propaganda on a daily basis.
The young people aren’t buying it… No wonder a funny man – Jon Stewart - is the main tv news source for young people.
Postscript: Given that the top experts in every field have their own blogs, people who want real news can cut out the middleman ... and read the experts' insights direct and unfiltered. See this, this and this.