Millennials: Believing What We Read on the Internet

The topic for this entry is all about news and media. I will be exploring how millennials get their news, why we no longer use traditional channels and why people should be willing to trust the internet.

Nathan (@nbrezzy) Easington is the honorary feature in this post! Nate is a journalism major at Howard University, and he is a Chicago native. Along with being my dope ass friend, Nate is a talented journalist who hopes to use his skills to write for a major publication in Washington DC or abroad.

Kira: Why do you think there is a stereotype that millennials aren’t interested in the news?

Nate: I think it kinda has to do with how older generations view the way that we consume news. They (past generations) come from a very traditional mindset where they read the news every morning, and go on New York Times or Washington Post to get see the news. When in truth, millennials just get their news in different forms.

Nate: If older generations don’t see us cracking the newspaper open every morning, they want to call us lazy or uninformed.

Nate (right) with Bernie Sanders while interning on Capitol Hill

Kira: Do you like reading the newspaper?

Nate: Ummm… No. I don’t read the newspaper. But what I like to do is take time to read “The Morning Briefing” by the New York Times. They basically layout important news from the last 24 hours. I read this pretty consistently to stay hip on what is going on.

Kira: So where do you think millennials go to look for news updates?

Nate: Personally, I find a lot on Twitter, and I know other millennials like Twitter as well. Twitter is cool because it’s so easy to curtail what specific media you want to see. I’m a big football and sports guy, so I follow a lot of NFL, Adam Scheffer, Ian Rapoport. But at the same time I like to follow the Washington Post, Hilltop and other newspapers. It’s easier for me to see this content on my phone especially when I have pre selected these accounts to follow.

Kira: That’s true and social media can be a great asset because news will eventually find you. People are constantly reposting and sharing content, as well as following specific organizations to get direct news updates.

Nate: Yeah and that goes with older generations saying “you can’t believe everything you see on the internet”. Yeah that has some validity to it, but on the other side of things, millennials get information from people who are pushing out researched news.

Kira: Right. It might be coming from a very trusted source. And the cool thing about getting updates from social media, is that it’s so fast. We don’t have to wait a week for the morning paper, or for a live report.

Nate (left) covering the Jets game in 2019 for Rhoden Fellowship

Nate: Exactly. Like Twitter family is going to see news much faster than my parents who might not hear about breaking news until it’s from a friend via word-of-mouth. Or they might find it through media that is just different than millennials, like Yahoo. This is how my mom finds breaking news most of the time.

Kira: Other than cable views declining, why do you think millennials have cut off TV news as a source for updates?

Nate: I feel like there are 2 main reasons… One is because people don’t really watch TV anymore. The other reason is because we already have our ways of consuming media and news and it works. Just because past generations say “you must watch the news”, doesn’t mean we have to. But there are a lot of good shows like Rachel Maddow, and late night shows that break down the news, but we just aren’t there to watch it.

Kira: Last question that I’m going to ask you, why is it that when news travels through social media, it can become exaggerated, twisted and sometimes fabricated after being passed around?

Nate: If I find something that is hard to believe on Instagram or Twitter, then I’m going to do my extra research to find out the truth. If it is important enough to me where I’m thinking “damn that’s wild”, then I’m going to do extra digging. However in a lot of situations, people are playing telephone on social media and news gets passed around then diluted. So if you want the real story, there are ways to find it instead of leaving it up to Twitter.

Nate (left) at boxing tournament while interning for Ghana Times

Kira: Yeah I think that can be a major problem with millennials. They see a story, they don’t do extra investigating, and that’s how rumors start.

Nate: And that’s why older generations are always saying “don’t trust everything that you see on the internet”. But I do believe that more breaking news, more accurate news and more cultural news happens on social media more than your generic sources.

Platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and the internet can often times be very useful. While millennials are spending time on social media, we are also being provided with important news updates from valid sources, whether we want to or not. However, if the headline sounds extra wild, one should always be willing to do their research and avoid being gullible.

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