What can the media learn from 16 to 19-year-olds? How can newspapers become a reliable companion in their everyday lives? Tamedia launched the "Tages-Anzeiger Youth Lab" to clarify these questions and to be able to adapt to the needs of the future readership today. From 15 September to 15 December 2021, a group of young people visited the editorial office in Zurich every week to discuss their expectations towards media with employees of the Tages-Anzeiger, the Digital Product Team, the Reader Revenue Team as well as the Tamedia editorial office and to create innovative ideas for the journalism of the future.
The project was initiated by President and Publisher Pietro Supino and Marco Boselli, Co-Managing Director of Tamedia. Katharina Graf, head of blogs at the Tamedia editorial office, and Adrian Zurbriggen from the Tamedia editorial office are responsible for the project internally. The "Tages-Anzeiger Youth Lab" was conceived by Sandra Cortesi, who also closely supervised its implementation. She has headed the Youth & Media Project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University for thirteen years and already supported the "20 Minuten Youth Lab".
In the video (in German), the Youth Lab participants reveal what it would take for them to buy or want a newspaper subscription. And those responsible for the project tell what they have learned from the young people.
What young people expect from the media - five lessons
Young people want quality journalism
The participants of the "Tages-Anzeiger Youth Lab" can recognise media quality and appreciate high-quality journalism. They are looking for reliable classifications, want to be informed, educate themselves and understand contexts better in order to be able to have a conversation in their circle of friends and at the family table and to form their own opinion.
Young people do not need more information
Young people rarely have the need for more information, but rather for channels that bundle and classify the diverse information. It is important that news and stories are told in a simple and understandable way and that important things are brought to the point.
Young people want to be taken seriously
Young people want (and expect) that newspapers not only report about them, but also talk to them, listen to them. They also appreciate content that is produced for them and for their channels in a way that is appropriate to the target group.
Young people look for solutions
The state of the mind plays a big role in young people's media consumption. They want positive aspects to be emphasised even in the case of bad news - if appropriate - and not only problems but also solutions to be pointed out.
Social media? Yes, but ...
Young people's relationship to smartphones, social media and their screen time is ambivalent: on the one hand, apps like Snapchat, Tiktok and Instagram are still used intensively, but on the other hand, they are more sceptical about them than ever before. Many deliberately distance themselves from the smartphone from time to time - a development that is likely to keep us busy in the future.