Teens want bullet points and tidbits with their newspapers

When USA Today launched back in 1982, Al Neuharth's baby weathered a lot of criticism for being too lite, too chipper, too optimistic and not sufficiently sophisticated. Turns out that may be what teens are looking for in a newspaper. Tomorrow, the Newspaper Association of America will release details from their study of students from across the US. As Jon Iafeliece of North Castle Partners, the consultants on the study, told the E&P:

In terms of content, teens are looking for short, concise articles and lots of bullet points. "They don't want the news dumbed down, they just want it more concise," Iafeliece says.

Fittingly, USA Today's Weekend supplement just finished an online survey of 65,000 teens:

Now, a USA WEEKEND survey of more than 65,000 American teenagers delivers some interesting news: Newspapers have established a substantial beachhead in today's teen culture. According to the magazine's large, if unscientific, survey, a majority of teenagers have a newspaper delivered to their homes and at least see it ...

The best way to characterize their attitude -- and this is exactly the result one would obtain from an unscientific survey of my own home -- is that they believe in newspapers in theory and expect really to read them one day, but in practice they dip in and out of the more accessible sections. That's promising.