Business Culture Media

How humans consume news

From the HB Blog

“I need something in my hands!” my father decrees, sharing how he reads news via the print edition of The Boston Globe.

He’s not alone.

Traditionally, humans learned of the latest news developments from their regional news publication – a literal newspaper. Needless to say, the medium changed.

The fear of customized news

I recall reading an article 10-15 years ago about the possibilities of receiving a “custom newspaper” in your inbox. This was considered a big problem – would readers ignore hard news for entertainment and sports coverage? The horror!

Today, that “horror” materializes as “options.” Readers use several strategies to digest news, including:

Experiential news

Another marked changed comes via the delivery mechanism. Readers who rely solely on the internet for news read on a desktop, mobile phone, or tablet – and can view additional content beyond the printed word with color photos, videos, and interactive graphics that serve up content not available in my father’s newspaper.

One new trend across the web, responsive design, allows readers to digest news at the same web site, independent of their device. The Boston Globedoes a great job of this at

The news cycle

Perhaps the biggest shift comes from the new interpretation of the word “journalist.” Quite often, readers receive news via sharing. I might hear about the latest news development from a Twitter follower whom I’ve never met. Or, learn of a new technology trend from a video blog.

The new news

Gone are the days of Walter Cronkite and The New York Times, early edition. Here to stay are varying delivery methods for all types of news. How long will newspapers last?

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