Background. Media consumption by the digital generation in Russia should not only be of interest to media researchers or managers. The fact that young people's interaction with various information sources and the media is noticeably different from the daily practice of older generations and has created new trends and habits, must be taken into account by the teaching community, parents, and political forces. This issue is of particular interest to politicians, because it points to the need for them to transform their information policy.
Objective. The purpose of this study was to find out how media formats that appeal to emotions of young people influence their media consumption.
Design. During the first stage, we surveyed respondents in three cities with populations of over one million; the surveys allowed us to identify key sources of information and the motivation for various kinds of digital content consumption by youth. During the second stage, 20 in-depth interviews provided a deeper understanding of where the teenagers got their political news and what influenced their consumption.
Results. The authors of this paper have concluded that the digital generation does not consume political news purposefully. They rarely turn to socio-political publications and do not watch shows on federal TV channels. In fact, members of this generation mostly deny having any interest in this topic or awareness of it. However, through various entertaining, primarily humorous, content, which is the most popular among young people, a clear political agenda, albeit subjective, is being formed in their information space.
Conclusion. Our work refutes the common misconception of researchers, representatives of the state system, and journalists that the digital generation is not interested in politics. Rather, their pursuit of emotional experiences, primarily positive ones, have become their main incentive for consuming political news.
Keywords: digital generation/ generation Z/ media consumption/ political agenda/ political news/ emotions