Most teenagers get their news from social networking sites nowadays. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, or maybe from little news ticker applications on their phones. But unless the story is really dramatic and shows up everywhere, people don’t get it. I actually believe that the largest distributor of news to teens is word of mouth. If one teen hears the news, they tell people and the new gets carried.

I get a lot of my news from word of mouth, or my parents tell me. If they find something interesting, they might tell me. I actually probably get 95% of my news from the radio. In the morning I listen to NPR on the car, and every night I sleep with the radio on. I get so much information from NPR, and I believe that it is an incredibly accurate and credible source. I get some new from sites like Facebook, but it is usually from miscellaneous places—apps on my phone, maybe a news commercial, or just on Yahoo or something. I personally don’t read newspapers, because they have a lot of information I don’t really care about. I watch the news with my parents sometimes, but only if the story is interesting.

I don’t really have credibility issues for news sources. If I hear the news from multiple sources then I will assume it’s true. All the sources can’t be wrong. I trust sources like CNN or BBC because they usually have unbiased stories. A problem I might have is, the news source doesn’t give me all of the info, just snippets to make me believe a certain thing. I personally don’t use Twitter because I think it’s a stupid idea. So I get no news from there. I don’t go in search of news, but if I come across news from The New York Times, I will assume it’s credible. If I get news I might get it from Flipboard. Flipboard is an app on my phone, and you can customize it to give you info, and it updates hourly. It’s actually a really cool idea, I have certain tabs on it like photography, technology, food, soccer, and news. I don’t know for certain that I am getting censored news like in 1984 or not but I assume that there are journalists out there with the same belief in censorship as me: that we should not be censored and we should hear all news in a way that is unbiased.

The fact that we have all these different sources for news actually makes it easier to get the truth. Some may disagree with me, saying that different sources will say what they want, but if you have so many sources, you can compare and contrast whether what you are hearing is true or not. I think that democracy will suffer either way, but if we have news, then we can see what is happening all over the world, and maybe help people that don’t have a voice in their own country. News helps expose things that would be otherwise unknown.

In the future, however people use media, news will adapt to the form of media the people use and help them reach it that way. I think newspapers will continue to be used, just not as much. There will be a lot of news shows, and radio is as strong as ever and will continue to prosper. A lot of the time, people just keep the radio on to hear something; no one likes it to be quiet all the time. You’d be surprised how much you learn from hearing things on the radio without even trying to listen. You just subconsciously pick things up.

Technology and the Web will just change how we receive our news, not alter what we are learning. I think with all the news blogs and such, more people have a voice and you get more sides of the story. If anything, it is helping democracy. Countries that have no Internet connection, or are censored, aren’t as informed as other countries that are able to get the news. This is proof that it is helping democracy, not damaging it. What will matter in the future is not how we get out news, but how we interpret it.

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Ariya Momeny is a 9th grader at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, CA.