Most teenagers nowadays are out of touch with world news, even though they are very involved in media. I would be surprised if one of my friends told me that they read the newspaper daily, and I still would be surprised if they told me they read online news daily. Personally, the only exposure I get to news and current events is through Reddit, and I mostly only see updates about things like the situation in North Korea, and other similar things.

I really don’t get any news from any of the social networking/sites that I visit. Facebook does not integrate a default news feature, but there is a functionality to receive news by subscribing to pages like CNN. However, I would doubt that many teenagers do so, as they go to Facebook to get updates from their friends, not from news aggregators. I don’t watch that much TV, and when I do, it’s on Netflix. I can’t imagine that there is much exposure to the news on TV unless you are on a channel that is dedicated to broadcasting news updates, or are watching a program about news. I don’t read the newspaper, and when I want to get updates on a certain thing that involves the news, I would go to The New York Times website or ask my parents.

Though I do not get many updates from the news, I do trust the credibility of the sources when I do. For example, if I see something posted on Reddit about North Korea, it is most likely a link to a trusted news aggregator. However, I could see how sites like The Onion could twist some peoples’ perception of modern news, even though it is widely known as a parody site. I trust in these sources that they are not being censored by the government (though they may be biased) because I feel like there would be people at least talking about it, if not protesting.

Having all of these mediums for news definitely muddles the truth, because so many different articles are being shared, and even peoples’ opinions, that could contradict each other. Now, this makes it more accessible, but it also promotes some falsity. However, if you are Internet-savvy enough (which most people are), you would know to trust a reputable source such as The New York Times more than a public figure on Twitter. I think that democracy will prosper with these sources, as they let the people know what is going on in the world. Also, I don’t think that having less of these sources would hinder democracy.

It is hard for me to say how people will get their news ten years from now, but I feel safe in saying that it will be in a way similar to today. The technology will advance, but it will always carry the capability to deliver news. However, I think that newspapers will die out in a few years, as they have already noticed huge declines in the number of people that subscribe to physical newspapers after the introduction of digital news. I think that TV shows and radio shows will still be present in some form. For example, I can see radio shows becoming things like podcasts. The introduction of the Web and digital media will hugely affect the way we receive news right now, and it will most definitely kill physical news. In my opinion, democracy is improved because of these news sources because people have more exposure to what is going on in the world. Historically, when governments have censored news, people have protested, and even revolted, so an abundance of news aggregators and mediums does nothing but help democracy.

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Nikhil Rajaram is a 9th grader at Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, CA.