Grasping the generational divide surrounding medial news


Markus Winkler via Unsplash

There is a generational difference when it comes to how Gen-Z and the older generations receive their news and how they are impacted by it.

Corea Conner, Photo Manager

There is a great difference between generations when it comes to the news and social media. 

A survey found out of 1,000 Generation Z adults (ages 18-21), 78 percent do not trust the U.S government and only 8 percent fully trust the U.S political system. 

Due to their extensive access to the media, younger generations are inundated by new daily. Where platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are always in their back pockets.

Older generations are less likely to utilize the internet to access news. Mostly, they stick with the news outlets on television because there was a point in time where news by television was more reliable and less opinionated. Today news anywhere blurs the lines between feelings and facts. 

Many adults belonging to Generation Z get their news from social media pages with only 17 percent of adults over the age of 25. This could be due to the fact that these individuals grew up with technology that they could carry around, so they may feel no need to watch the news on the television. Contributing to the fact because they are more likely to spend more time on their phones and social platforms. 

Both methods of receiving news have problems with reliability. A difference between getting news from social media and news outlets is there is no desire for political gain on social media sites such as instagram and TikTok. Although some news outlets try to be partisan they often still use political commentary creating a divide in who tunes into their network. 

Breaking down the fundamentals of the Gen Z generation.“They are far less likely than older generations to say that being an American is important to their identity, and are more skeptical that the U.S. sets a good example for the rest of the world,” Morning consult stated. 

Studies show that younger generations are more likely to take part in watching centralized political news such as NPR or The New York Times. And all though the news production is centralist the viewers are more likely to be aligned with democrats. 

Imani Warren, a 2020 high school graduate in California explains her opinions on where citizens should get their news. “I feel like it is better to get your news from an unbiased source. Fox News is reportedly and factually biased. For the most part it is said but you should find news the same way you find sources for an essay,” Warren said. 

Warren also mentions that TikTok and Instagram are biased. The issue with these platforms is that most of the information is coming from the people with similar viewpoints and interests. If someone is conservative they are going to have mostly conservatives talking on their “For You Page” and vice-versa.

Cristina Hurtado, a parent at PVHS, discussed the media she utilizes. “If I see it on the public news or radio I think it’s more reliable than social media news. I watch the news because I feel the need to keep up on current events and know what’s happening locally,” Hurtado stated. 

People of Hurtado’s generation are often more willing to listen to local news because it relates to their daily lives. As for national news, they are more likely to have a biased stance, solely listening to sources that support their opinions. 

“I will admit sometimes it can be too negative, especially during these stressful times with the pandemic, elections, and social inequalities, I feel like it can be too much. You have to give yourself permission to walk away from it,” Hurtado said. When it comes to national news and outlets such as Fox news and CNN, the producers may lie, catastrophize, or downplay situations to make their viewers more emotional.  

While individuals belonging to older generations typically get their news through more traditional methods, individuals belonging to younger generations get a lot of their information from social media. Regardless of the platform, people should be vigilant of the news that they are receiving.