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The Media Diaries

Three New Yorkers track everything they watch, read, and listen to in the course of a week.


When Time magazine put a crinkly, vaguely toxic-looking fun-house mirror on its cover and named “you” the person of the year for 2006, the Establishment weekly was more or less cheering on its own diminution. After all, like most purveyors of mass media, from TV (see the nightly news) to the music industry (Tower Records, R.I.P.) to daily newspapers (which have lost over 20 percent of their stock valuation in the past four years), Time is facing both a vexing shift in consumer behavior and the rise of self-generated content. Of course, amid all this apocalyptic hype, young people are consuming more media than ever. But what is it they’re reading, watching, and listening to, exactly? We asked three members of the coveted 18-to-34 demographic to keep a diary of their habits for a week.

Mark DeYoung
32, program director at Lumen Institute, a Christian leadership organization.

9–9:15 a.m. Checked Yahoo and work e-mails. Kept both open all day. Wall Street Journal in the office. Played music off throughout the day.
11–11:10 Drudge Report.
12:30–12:45 p.m. News videos on
9:30–12 a.m. Saw The Departed.

8:40–9:05 a.m. Love and Longing in Bombay (a short-story collection), by Vikram Chandra, on subway.
9:05–9:15 Opened e-mail accounts. News stories on
12:20–12:40 p.m.
12:40 Visited the MySpace page of Steven Delopoulos, a musician, and played his songs during the afternoon.
9–11 Watched Strangers on a Train (rented from Blockbuster).

8:15–8:40 a.m. Love and Longing in Bombay on subway.
8:45–9:15 Opened e-mail accounts. Wall Street Journal. Played music off during morning at work.
10–10:10 (to read about The Departed).
12:30–12:50 p.m.
3–3:10 Colbert Report sketch on YouTube.
7–7:30 First Things magazine on subway.
10:30–11 Several short stories from In Persuasion Nation, by George Saunders.

8:30–9 a.m. In Persuasion Nation on subway.
9–9:15 Opened e-mail accounts. Wall Street Journal.
10–10:05 Ordered The Sinner’s Guide to the Evangelical Right, by Robert Lanham, through
12:10–12:20 p.m.
1–1:10 Drudge Report.
9:30–10 Hannity & Colmes.
10:15–10:45 Love and Longing in Bombay.

8:45–9 a.m. AM New York on subway.
9 Opened e-mail accounts.
12:15–12:45 p.m. Wall Street Journal.
1–1:10 Watched several movie trailers on
2–2:15 Visited

10–10:30 a.m. Listened to WPLJ (95.5 FM).
11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Channel-surfed between TBS and TNT, mostly.
1–1:30 a.m. A bit of 8 Mile on VH1.

1–1:45 p.m. Village Voice.
7–9:30 Saw Reds.


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