Every chance an older person gets, they tell us young people to wise up because the future rest in our hands. I can not call myself the spokesperson of my generation, but I think some would agree that after hearing that over and over again, one begins to feel quite overwhelmed, half of the time not knowing why or what to prepare for.
In the world of Journalism backed with surveys, the talk is no different. A study which surveyed young Americans today showed that only nine percent of young adults knew as much as their elders (Mindich, Nieman Reports 2008). According to the study, this age gap has been widening since the 1970’s. One way to reverse this gap, thus securing the future of journalism, Mindich suggests cultivating kids from a young age to be news-hungry citizens. He goes futher to contend that young adults are not dumb, it’s just that we have a thin citizenship (Mindich, Nieman Reports 2008). This means that young adults are only interested in the surface of issues. Beyond that we don’t care.
For some young adults, yes, I feel that this is the case. They just want enough information to stay informed on things that matters most to them. But I feel that a major problem of thin citizenship of young adults is not that they are products of “The Age of Indifference”, but rather young adults are a product of “The Age of System Overload”.
In the 1940’s to the 1970’s young adults knew as much as their elders (Mindich, Nieman Reports 2008). But the young adults of that time didn’t have information actively seeking their attention from different platforms, whether it be traditional new, the plethora of channels we have to choose from, social networking’s, even our cell phones. Today, with the pressure journalists feel to constantly feed us with information, a story is there, and then it’s gone in 30 minutes, depending on how big the issue is. If the focus is solely pushing the content out, then of course you cannot have an engaging conversation.
The future of Journalism is not depending on the medium, because as we have seen from the leaflet pamphlets to the Internet, that is always changing. The future of Journalism is not overloading people with information they don’t have time to process. Because Journalism is a field where the only certain thing is change the future of Journalism rests in connecting readers with others and information so that they may be able participate in engaging conversation (Adee, Nieman Reports 2008). This is why social media such as blogs and networking are important tools to harness power because it gives life to stories that only have a 30 minute self-life as illustrated with the “Paris, Texas” story in Adee’s article. Because it gives stories longer lives, it gives people the opportunity to engage.