The internet and young people
It is true that with the internet’s arrival, connectivity with others increases. Now, I can connect with someone living in Australia and I don’t have to leave my house or pay an expensive telephone bill to have a conversation or exchange information with that person. Although internet not only has facilitated this connection around the world (wherever internet is accessible) for adults, it has also opened up an infinite portal of communication for young people as well.
Livingstone, Bober, and Helsper, wrote a report on a research about young people’s participation in society (Active participation or just more information? Young people’s take up of opportunities to act and interact on the internet). This study covers the interactivity and participation of young people from UK, ages of 9-19. The purpose was to examine whether using the internet draws young people into participation (in the public sector), developing websites, online forums, chat spaces, peer networks etc. “Young people are dubbed ‘the internet generation’ or ‘online experts’ etc. “
This caught my attention in reference to the book We’re All Journalists Now, that talks about how the internet has opened up a door for everyone with access to internet; to be a journalist and how this is transforming the press.
This brings a very interesting subject about the participation of young people in the news. Can this be possible?
One of the results, from the research done in UK, shows that participation of young people on civic/political websites depends on the distinct groups of young people and the opportunities to participate online. The following characteristics were found:
Young people look for news online was only 26% and out of this percent:
· 41% of the users between the ages of 18-19
· 34% of the users between the ages of 16-17
The highest percent of users interested in news are between the ages of 16 to 19. They can easily become journalists among their own networks. However, only 26% look for news online in comparison to 94% who seek information for school. This means that the majority of these users, use the internet for education purposes and not necessarily to maintain their peers inform.
However, we must think if there is a possibility of young people to become journalists, even if they come up with a new kind of journalism like “teen journalism” (From teens to teens). Would this be beneficial for them? Can they trust their peers to communicate the news objectively? Can they be trusted? After all it’s already happening, but is known more as ‘gossip’ than news among their networks.