Where’d ya hear that?

Students find get most of their news through social media

Grace Hasley, Assistant Feature Editor

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In this generation of quickly evolving technology, it’s not a surprise that newspaper distribution has been on a decline. Without few families subscribing to an actual print newspaper  where are teens getting their news?

According to Business Insider, teens are mostly getting their news from more popular social media apps such as Twitter and Snapchat.

“I read most news stories from Twitter,” said Courtney Fortin, a junior at Milford High School.

Not only has pring newspaper popularity decreased, but television news viewership has been decreasing, too. Digital News Publication has stated that viewership has declined overall, but specifically with younger viewers. Most of the younger generation has access to some kind of smartphone, so they don’t have a need for traditional television news.

“I rarely watch actual T.V news,” said Alex Barron, a sophomore at Milford High school. “It’s more accessible on portable devices.”

Social media apps aren’t the only place where teens are getting their news from.

“If I ever see a story and want to know more about it, I just google it,” said Alaina Walsh, a sophomore at Milford High School.

Teens tend to visit different news source websites as well. The American Press Institute did a survey and discovered 40 percent of teens pay for at least one news specific service, app, or digital subscription. They also found out that 69 percent of teens try to get daily news through any source they can. Also, 86 percent of teens see diverse opinions on different news stories through social media. No surprise there.

It’s no doubt teens have many ways to connect to current events, but do they know how to separate the unbiased from the bias?

Fortin seems to have a good grasp on how to figure out the truth.

“It’s (Twitter) not always reliable,” Fortin states, “It depends on the story. If there’s a story based around one picture that could’ve easily been photo shopped, then I won’t think twice about wondering if it’s real. But if it’s multiple pictures or even a video about a more practical subject, I’m more likely to believe it.”

Teens are easily suckered in by “click-bait” or crazy headlines that news sources use for people to click on their stories.

PBS Newshour states that click-bait will be the death to real journalism. Even though a majority of the click-bait is just fluff, teens are attracted to the entertainment aspect of the story over the realistic part of it. With teens more focused on getting a good laugh, the journalism business has been having a harder time getting web hits on hard news.

But this is not an excuse for all the bias stories that are plastered all over social media. Teens should be aware of what they’re reading and more importantly, what they’re are believing.

“It’s getting out of control. People are getting crazy with what they believe,” said Mr. Hamilton, the Newspaper and journalism teacher at Milford High School.

Pepperdine University Graphic specifically pointed out the internet-based company, Buzzfeed, and how their main focus point is directly entertainment than real journalism.

“You have to be skeptical about everything you hear,” said Mr.Hamilton.

Staying away from biased stories now-a-days is definitely hard work. But it’s not completely impossible.

“Anything you hear, you have to ask yourself, who is supplying the information, and what is their agenda?” Hamilton said.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has also pointed out that readers should be aware of the lack of content a story may or may not have. They also recommended that viewers be on the look for double standards and a lot of diverse viewpoints in the story.

Despite the biased, entertaining fluff that is often considered “news,” students can still find reliable news by double checking their sources and not always believing the first headline that pops up on their timeline.

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Where’d ya hear that?