News: Why Bother?

Students’s avoidance of “real” news is bad for the future


illustrated by Jaden Dudrey

People often say that teens are the future of America, but what if the future of America isn’t even keeping up with the present?

Despite easy access to the news because of technology, teens often don’t stay informed about what’s happening today. A study from 2015 shows that 28 percent of teens pay little to no attention to the news.

Adolescents who do pay attention to the news get it from social media. According to a Twitter poll taken by BV West students, 64 percent of the student body get their news from Twitter. Only thirteen percent get news from television sources and even less from News Websites (10 percent).

Sophomore Manasa Rajendiran said, “I feel that social media is a good way for teens to get news and develop their ideas and how they feel about current events. It helps people get involved.”

While getting news from social media is convenient, anyone with a keyboard is able to contribute on social media platforms. People won’t be able to tell what’s legitimate information and what’s not. Unbiased articles are hard to find, especially on the platforms where anyone can contribute. It’s common to find only one side of the story due to disproportionate coverage.

“I think it’s an essential to be informed because politics have a big platform in societal values and education. So, when people are uneducated, people don’t seem to respect you as much. Learning things on your own is important. Having your own opinion is even more important,” Junior Abby Abrams said.

One of the reasons that staying up to date with the news is important is because of how the world is always changing. Take Hurricane Irma for example; 78 people have died from the storm alone, 36 in the Caribbean and 42 in Florida. However, the effects of Irma aren’t done taking lives. Because of the power outages that were caused by the hurricane, the ninth resident in a Floridian nursing home has died.

Staying informed helps people form their own opinions and not be influenced by the media. Several stories and reported events titled “fake news.” Fake news is what people call stories that put themselves under a bad light, typically.

The problem with the fake news title is that people just won’t listen or pay attention to anything that’s considered fake news by whatever politician they believe in most. The teens who don’t stay informed about stories are too young and impressionable to realize why it’s important.

However, staying informed doesn’t mean one has to be an expert on everything, having a general idea is all that’s needed to make educational adults. What’s most important is that everyone is preparing for adulthood.

One of the reasons that teens aren’t paying attention to the news is because of President Donald Trump. They don’t like what he’s doing with America, whether if it’s what he didn’t say or what executive actions he tries to pass. Disagreeing with what’s happening doesn’t mean that anyone should not find out what’s happening. Deleting Facebook accounts and shying away from discussing contrasting political views doesn’t move people to make an actual impact.

As teens get older the closer they get to being able to contribute to the future. Any person who’s eligible to vote makes their decisions based on what they hear and what they believe is accurate about whoever they are interested in voting for.

Not everyone who’s able to vote votes though. According to a study by the United States Election Project, 59.7 percent of eligible voters participated in the 2016 Presidential Election.  Of the eligible 18-29 year olds only 50 percent of them casted their vote. The millennial age category have always had low voting turnouts.

The people who didn’t vote for the recent election used the reasoning that they didn’t like either Trump or Clinton, so they didn’t. Some of the voters chose to vote for one of the candidates because they simply didn’t want the other one in office.

Not paying attention to the news, whether it’s because people don’t believe it’s as convenient as it is or they’re annoyed with how the country is being run politically, is setting up our future generation for failure.