Broadcast news remains a focal moment for many people in the evening. A professor of government and the press at Harvard University, Thomas Patterson, refers to this pattern as “having an appointment with the news,” and as strange as it sounds in an age of on-demand news updates, it is the way many people still consume information. The network news is the punctuation that ends the work day for close to 23 million people.
Of course, not everyone has an appointment with Scott Pelley or David Muir at 6:30 each evening, and those who do tend to be older. But the age gap in network news consumption is not peculiar to broadcast news. Mr. Patterson has shown, for example, that young people (teenagers and those under 30) engage less with all forms of news. But when Mr. Patterson asked young people how they became aware of prominent news stories (if they were aware), most young people answered the same way the rest of the country answered: old-fashioned television news.