Conceptualizing Media Generations: the Print-, Online- and Individualized Generations

Oscar Westlund, Mathias A Färdigh

    Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    During the 1990s news publishers established an online presence and in the 2000s they developed cross-media news work. This has resulted in changing news accessing habits, with varied magnitude among generations. This article aims to construct theoretically sound news media generations, through statistical analysis of data from a nationally representative scientific omnibus survey conducted in 2010. Firstly the article presents a descriptive and explanatory analysis of how eight generational cohorts utilize news in print and/or online and/or mobile. Secondly these findings are used for merging the generational cohorts into a conceptualization involving three media generations. The print generation (1920s- 1940s) shows high probability (137%) and scored its highest value for reading only printed newspaper (Pearson’s r = .135). The online generation (1950s-1970s) shows high probability (97%) and scored highest of online only news accessing (Pearson’s r = .135). The heterogeneous news usage patterns exhibited by the individualized generation (1980s-1990s) were accommodated for by two cohorts. The online cohort shows high probability for online-only news usage (49%) and a positive correlation (Pearson’s r = .065). The cross-media cohort marks high probability for cross-media use (230 %) and the highest value for cross-media use (Pearson’s r = .141).
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)181-213
    Number of pages33
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2012


    • media generation
    • Karl Mannheim
    • cross-media
    • online generation
    • print generation
    • news consumption
    • individualized generation


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