Social media overtakes TV as young people’s main source of news

Social media has overtaken TV as young people's main source of news, according to a report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The BBC reports that, of the 18-to-24-year-olds surveyed, 28% cited social media as their main news source, compared with 24% for TV. The research also suggests 51% of people with online access use social media as a news source. The report, now in its fifth year, is based on a UK YouGov survey of about 50,000 people across 26 countries. In its introduction, the report says "a second wave of disruption" has hit news organisations around the world, with "potentially profound consequences both for publishers and the future of news production".

UK government backs microbeads ban

The UK government now backs a legal ban on plastic microbeads in cosmetics and toiletries, environment minister George Eustice told MPs. The Guardian reports that he said a ban across the EU could be passed as early as 2017. Eustice argued in favor of a voluntary phase-out by the industry as recently as March, but he said the issue had moved on after the US introduced a ban. “We now support a ban on microbeads in cosmetics and are working with other EU countries to get it on the agenda at a European level,” he told the environment audit committee. “I think it is right to push ahead with a ban.”  Eustice wants the UK to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum but praised the benefits of this EU action. Thousands of tonnes of microbeads wash into the sea every year, where they harm wildlife and enter the food chain.

Kik the habit -  users are spending an hour a day on the app

Kik has reported that users now spend more than an hour a day on the messaging app. Thanks to its new "Attention Metric," Kik can look at chat behavior and how long and often users send messages, Adweek reports. Although Kik's privacy policies don't allow the app to record the actual content that users share, it does look at meta data to better understand how people use products. "We knew we needed a new metric that could help us understand how people are thinking when they're chatting, and measure that mental engagement in chat as opposed to just eyeballs on a screen that's lit up," said Joel Cumming, Kik's head of data. According to the new data, the more than 300 million users on the platform spend an average of 12.7 minutes in a chat session with about six separate chats a day.  Teen "super users" comprise about 10% of the overall user base and spend more than two and a half hours every day on the app.

Secret service - the transgender people serving in the US military

A BBC feature looks at transgender people serving in the US armed forces. Technically, they are forbidden to serve, yet an estimated 12,800 do, the vast majority in secret. The feature highlights the case of Jane, a senior airman, who has hidden her gender identity from the military for 25 years. She hopes a policy review announced last year will allow her finally to be herself. Assigned male at birth, she has served her country for 25 years as a man, has flown in every major conflict since the first Gulf War, and loves her job, which she calls an "honor and a privilege". The report says 18 countries do allow trans people to serve, including the UK, Canada, and Australia.

The people behind Apple’s most diverse event so far

Finally today, praise for Apple on the diversity front. The Chicago Tribune reports that, after years of being lambasted for a lack of diversity in its public-facing events, the tech giant broke the mould with the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, when four women and two men of color presented during the event for software developers. Among the most popular presenters was Bozoma (“Boz”) Saint John,  Apple Music’s head of global consumer marketing, who  made waves on Twitter while demoing Apple’s new music app. "This woman should present *everything* at WWDC!" tweeted Chris Maddern, the New York-based co-founder of Button.


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