This generation of students, the so-called “Millennials,” is struck with a growing plague of news illiteracy.
Between a shorter attention span proven by shrinking sound bytes and the unfortunate fact that many will not read this editorial in its original print edition, but rather on a screen, this generation is ignorant of the world around them and neglects to participate in the spread of knowledge that is vital to any civilized society.
In her new book, titled “Millennials, News and Social Media: Is News Engagement a Thing of the Past?,” University of Texas at Austin professor Paula Poindexter from the highlights the causes and potential effects of the apathy of Millennials in the age of information.
According to her research, some of the biggest problems Millennials see with news media is they think the news does not report information relevant to our demographic, and it is “garbage, lies, one-sided, repetitive and boring.”
An uninformed generation is susceptible to all sorts of problems.
This has been proven in developing countries where freedom of the press is limited. Even in the U.S., misinformation and ignorance can take a turn for the worse if media were to cease and governments could propagate any information they pleased through means of television and film, like Germany did during World War II.
When news is so accessible, literally at one’s fingertips in seconds anywhere in the world with a smart phone, it is inexcusable for
students to be uninformed.
Students should care what’s in the news and where it comes from.
If Millennials believe the news is biased or negligent of their needs, then they should step up and fix it. It is the responsibility of each
generation to rejuvenate society with their views.
Millennials may be comfortable reading a tweet or Facebook status to get news, but it is not enough. If they want good news, then they should be the ones getting it, actively.
The process of passing on information is too vital a function to be completely ignored by a whole generation.
The media’s purpose serves to hold those in power accountable, give a voice to the voiceless and tell the stories that go unheard. But if no one is listening, the basic value of society is not upheld.