A pledge to bring media channels together for the sake of our youth
As Australia’s media landscape continues to shift, the dial is turning on the central source of information for one audience in particular – Australia's youth. Now more than ever, this audience is invested and cares about the ins and outs of political and societal issues, the local economy, and breaking news, the demand for an honest and reliable take on these topics is strongly called for.
So how exactly are young Australians interacting across these new media channels?
With the ongoing growth of social media has come a rise in young Australians turning to their social feeds as a source of news. In 2020 – both Instagram and Facebook were ranked in the top 5 app downloads of the year with 62 million and 53 million downloads respectively1. This ranking comes as no surprise as Instagram is recorded as the most used daily used platform for young Australians at 91 per cent2.
Social media is clearly shifting away from the perception of being a ‘mindless scroll’, a channel not only for entertainment but for news and education – from August, NSW Government will livestream the daily 11am COVID-19 press conference on TikTok3. Youth are turning to alternative channels outside of traditional media for their news updates and Facebook remains a clear front runner. The platform, which is the third most visited website in the world, came in as the most used platform for news at 49%, followed by traditional media e.g. TV, radio, newspapers at 46%, closely followed by Instagram at 42%4.
Okay so what about influencers? Where do they fit into this conversation?
To counterattack against an influx of vaccine misinformation that is flooding the internet in the US, the White House has recruited an ‘Influencer Army’ to encourage young Americans to get vaccinated5. In Australia, comedian and media personality Celeste Barber, and the likes of Abbie Chatfield, are actively documenting their vaccination journeys on social media. They are calling out antivaxxers who are claiming to be more informed than qualified medical proffesionals6, and they are doing it in an engaging and entertaining way. What influencers believe and are communicating to their followers has the power to make a positive, progressive impact and hopefully, helps alleviate the anxiety caused by alarmist headlines and conspiracy theorists.
As young Australians continue to consume news from a variety of sources, content publishers have a role to play in providing thoughtful and informed news that has the power to influence opinion. Recently Junkee joined the Publishers for healthy headlines7 initiative, where major Australian youth publications have united in a pledge for honest headlines, to support progressive movements and communicate messages to generate a positive impact on their audiences.
The initiative is a commitment to produce truthful and accurate content that helps young Australians stay safe and informed when it comes to Covid-19. The pledge is to; put the science first, stand for healthy headlines, make considered image choices, not partake in any fear mongering or alarmist headlines.
This joint mission will be in effect until 50% of Australians under 40 are vaccinated. You can find all of Junkee’s ‘Healthy Headlines’ content right here.
- Online: Omnicore Instagram statistics, July 2021
- Brand New World Junkee Youth Research: D1. How would you describe your current use of the following social media platforms/entertainment mediums?
- Mumbrella August, 'NSW Government to livestream daily COVID-19 update on TikTok' 2021
- Brand New World Junkee Youth Research D6. Where do you go when you want to be updated on the news?
- Online: New Your Times, 'To Fight Vaccine Lies, Authorities Recruit an ‘Influencer Army’' August 2021
- Online: Junkee, 'Celeste Barber Perfectly Trolled Anti-Vaxxers Who Reckon They Know More Than Qualified Nurses' July 2021
- Online: Junkee, 'Junkee’s Joining Forces With Other Youth Publishers To Help Get Young Australians Vaccinated' July 2021