Bear Witness

Teens, there’s value in news

Jessica Berton

Jessica Berton

Julia Marques da Silva, Design Director

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Not many of us actually follow the news.

The Pew Research Center shows that only 27 percent of Americans from ages 18-29 follow the news. This makes our age group the least informed. However, young people should be paying attention to the news, especially since it helps shape your understanding of the world around you.

Where people get their news informs how they form their opinions. Two-thirds of Americans rely on their friends and family to educate them, according to the Pew Research Center. Conversations about subjects that interest them are great, but it allows others to influence your opinion without giving you a chance to establish what you actually believe in.

Social science teacher Kirk Selfridge urges his students to check the news daily. He said that when people only get their news from family and friends, it creates an echo chamber, a space where people only hear opinions that align with their own because their opinion is never challenged with contradicting information.

Following the news can also add to someone’s knowledge about the world. The news covers a wide range of events and can allow people to see how others live in different communities.

Without this media coverage and people paying attention to it, many wouldn’t be informed. Some might look at the news and question why should they care about the latest policies and what the government is doing.

For some of the population at Branham, they will soon be able to vote and will be affected by policies that are being passed now.

For example, President Donald Trump has started a trade war with China and has raised tariffs on about $200 billion dollars worth of Chinese products. Though major companies such as Apple are exempt from the tariffs, manufacturing and farm industries such as steel and soybean producers will soon feel the impact of decreased trade.

Some of the products that we use can become more expensive or affect some industries that their parents work.

“As they get older, things will have an impact on them,” Selfridge said. “If it’s not impacting them, then it’s impacting their parents, which in a sense, will impact them indirectly.”

As students age, they need to become more involved and aware of what’s going on. The best way to start paying attention is by getting involved in conversations.

Clubs, such as the Junior Statesmen of America at Branham, provide students a safe space for discussion and ultimately broaden their knowledge on certain topics. Other ways to get involved with the news is simply following reliable news organizations on social media.

News isn’t just about learning new information. It’s information that’s going to make an impact, so why wait?

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Teens, there’s value in news