That’s incredible

How kids get their news

The ways teens get the news today is different than how they got it 75 years ago. Today, most teens watch the news on TV. Also, a lot of teenagers get the news from their friends. Word of mouth is also a very common way to catch up on the news. Teenagers will naturally look for the fastest way to get the news, as their time is usually limited. In truth, TV and online news is the fastest way to get access to top stories. As a result, teens usually gravitate to TV and online news sources. If I had to choose how I got the news between reading a newspaper and asking my parents, I would definitely read the newspaper.

I generally get the news from my computer. I use Itunes podcasts to gain access to the most up-to-date coverage of real-world events. News online is a very portable, fast, and efficient way to gain access to the news. However, when I come into contact with a newspaper, I am more than happy to read it. In fact, every Friday when I’m biking home from school I make a trip to a newspaper stand where I pick up a copy of the Palo Alto Weekly. I look for unbiased, opinionated news, as I only trust news that I read myself.

I am constantly worrying about the credibility of my news. In today’s world, it is quite difficult to come across a perfectly unopinionated news source, as many news companies use the news to promote their own agendas. If I was someone that used Twitter as a way to get my news, and it gave me false information, I would make sure to never use it again. Nowadays only articles written by writers in a professional news company can be trusted. In my opinion, The New York Times is an excellent news outlet. I have read countless articles in The New York Times, and I have received clear and unbiased information every time. I know that news is not sanitized like in 1984. I know this because I am always closely watching the news to make sure that it isn’t mixing fact and opinion. I also know that the majority of my news is unbiased, because when I use different news sources to read the same article, I am always able to notice slight, subtle difference that give news outlets their uniqueness.

Abundance of online news sources makes it harder to get the truth. This is partly because some of those (but not all) of those news sources are biased. Firstly, Facebook and Twitter are not legitimate news outlets. The one type of news someone would receive from going to Facebook or Twitter is a person’s interpretation of the facts. You cannot interchange people’s interpretations of a story with the real story. Secondly, the choice of what news source to look at becomes more diverse as the number of news outlets increases. However, democracy prospers as the number of news outlets increase because access to news in generally becomes easier. Due to this increase, people that didn’t previously have access to news at all might then gain access to it.

In the future, I think everyone will get their news online, on TV, or from radio. There will still be newspapers, but no one will read them. The increased efficiency and portability of online news will change our news habits, because we will most likely read the news more often. Democracy is not in danger with the abundance of news outlets because in order for a democracy to function, uncensored news must be made available. As long as the news stays uncensored and unbiased, we have nothing to worry about.

Click here to read other essays on “How kids get their news.”

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

James Pedersen is a 9th grader at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, CA. Tags: