Teens are Relying on YouTubers to get their dose of Latest News and it's Quite Concerning!

People are deciding to stay away from news updates due to the rise in fake news recently. However, a large portion of the young generation still prefers staying updated with the current affairs, according to a survey by Common Sense Media and SurveyMonkey. Although it sounds good at first as the teens are willing to know more about what’s going on in the world, their source of news is YouTubers and this is concerning.

The study shows that over 75% of the teens aged between 13 and 17 prefer staying updated with news but more than 50% of them do not rely on verified news outlets and instead get updates from YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

1,000 teens were surveyed for the study. About 600 of them claimed that they would get latest updates from online personalities such as celebrities and influencers. What’s surprising about these numbers is that the surveyed teens admitted that news outlets are more reliable than news with sources linked to social media. 40% of the surveyed participants support the belief that Social media sources often get the facts straight.
"These findings raise concerns about what kind of news [information] the next generation is using to shape their decisions," said James Steyer, CEO of Common Sense. 
The concerning thing about these stats is that YouTube has been caught at multiple occasions promoting misinformation and conspiracy theories. Additionally, many YouTubers don’t even thoroughly research on a topic before informing about it to their followers.

The author of YouTubers (a book), Chris Stokel-Walker believes that consumption of news from digital and non-traditional media outlets isn’t exactly a shocking change and that the change was bound to happen at one point or the other. Walker also said that what’s actually surprising is if people still think that adults get their news from traditional and scrutinized sources.

According to Walker, the way people consume news has changed significantly. The concern arises when people start labeling conspiracy theories and false information pieces as “news”. The best approach to safeguard the authenticity of news is to create awareness of media literacy in everyone and not just the teens. This would equip them with better skills of judging between fake and real stories.

With the present situation of the global economy, climate crisis and other issues, the up-and-coming generation will witness a lot of shifts and challenges both politically and environmentally. Thus, it is the right time to fight against the spread of fake news and start looking for the right sources to get the latest news.

Photo: Shutterstock

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