Why Young People Like Yahoo! News (and not much else)

Everyday, when I look through my Facebook feed for perhaps the millionth time, there is a trend that I often see.

“Yahoo! News: 5 tips for look hot for Spring Break. Yahoo! News: Mother kills 5 children. Yahoo! News: Should Your Child Be Spanked at School?”

Compared to other news sources that are shared on Facebook like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! holds a special place in teens hearts and also shows us where the world of journalism is going.

Convenience. Everyone loves something that is easily accessible with no hassle. Yahoo! has a convenient application, and once you read an article it is shared on Facebook allowing other people to easily click and access the piece. Because after all, he wants to bother reading a thick newspaper or typing in a webpage when it’s all on Facebook?

Another reason why it’s so popular among young people? In my opinion Yahoo! has an exponential amount of entertainment news. People (especially in the younger generation) are generally more interested in, “What You Should Wear This Spring,” rather than, “Another 20 People Died in Syria.” (*cough* unless it’s put into an over simplified fast-paced 30 minute video. *cough*) And if it’s not that, then we love to read the most dramatic thing like “Man Kidnaps 20 Children” or “Teacher and Student: Sex Scandal.” These kind of article are plentiful on Yahoo! and easily attract a lot of attention. After all, it is easier to feel sympathy for something happening close to us that we can understand, rather than an extended global affair that has complicated government and policy issues.

And of course, Yahoo! news is free. While newspapers that offer their articles online are having to resign to restricted page views (The New York Times is reducing its 20 articles to 10) or just flat out paid digital subscriptions, Yahoo! is free. Just a download of its Facebook application, a click here or there and you’re ready to go.

Free, easy and entertaining. These are popular themes in society today. We want something now, we want it with little hassle and you better not make us pay for it. It almost sounds like a fast-food restaurant or the convenient Wal-Mart down the block.

However. I’m not saying that Yahoo! News is bad. In fact, I applaud them for tapping into the social media web and discovering a cheap and efficient way of spreading their work. There is a lot to be said about what the average young person is interested in news wise, however.

If you are under the age of 24, can you remember what was the last news cast that you watched on the television? When was the last time you read an article from an established paper like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal or even the Des Moines Register? When was the last time you held an actual newspaper.

And really. Have you ever listened to NPR?


Journalism: Dead or Alive?

The world where people are interested in reading the Sunday paper and kicking back with a mug of Folgers is dead.

Or at least that’s what some people believe.

Since 2008, the United States has seen an interesting churn in the job market and the economy. But even before that, the job market has been revolutionizing into one that no longer upholds previous standards.

If you work hard, you’ll succeed. If you work at a place for a long time, they’ll reward you. You get what you put in.

After American citizens experienced lay off after lay off, no matter the amount of time and hard work they put, it was a realization of tough times to come.

The world of journalism has seen that first hand.

Television, newspapers and radio stations laid off massive amounts of people, because of the decline of viewership and advertisement.

People can get the news anywhere. Citizen journalism has shown that anybody who has access to a computer with internet can spurn up any story and post it on Twitter, whether it’s factual or not.

The trust in media has dropped exponentially. Where we once believed everything that The New York Times said, we now read with a wary eye.

According to Politico.com, Mike Huckabee once wrote, “I’m sad to report today a death of a good friend to all of us…..Journalism.”

So why would anyone want to pursue a career in journalism when the industry is highly competitive, the starting pay is low and people are judgmental about everything that’s written, no matter how accurate?

For me, it’s because I absolutely love it.

There is a heart racing, mind boggling and adrenaline rushing thrill when uncovering a story.

There is a sense of accomplishment and pride in letting someone’s voice be heard who may otherwise remain a silent figure in a crowd.

And there is just the chance to get to hear a story, and then hope that others will either hear or read that story too and learn something.

I love getting the chance to meet someone new and learn about what they’re passionate about or what they’re opinion may be.

I’ve met the mayor of the town my college is in, I’ve listened in on multiple Republican GOP Candidates, I’ve met a Consul General of Austria.

But perhaps those that are the most prominent in my mind are the “normal” people that one might not take a second look at. Those are the people that have the most interesting stories or might have a passion or skill for something that others overlook.

A director of a school who spoke over an hour and half about how proud she was of her students. A student who was owed over $800 dollars from her workplace. A student who just wanted to use his long board on school property.

While I just write for a student newspaper, these are voices that I’m proud to share and hope that others will hear their message.

There can’t be anything more alive in the world than journalism, because journalism is about life.

Beneath the crumpled pages of newspapers are rhythmic words that beat the pulse of a human being.

Through the flashing images on the television screen is a smiling face of a person who can be your next door neighbor, sharing her survival from cancer.

On the radio is a sole voice, sharing the tragedies from Syria. Objective and direct, but deep down there is a pleading for someone to notice, for someone to actually care and take the time to listen.

So while people may think it’s silly to try and break into journalism in this day and age because they believe it’s dead.

Deep down, journalism can never be dead. Because it’s all about life. We just now have to find a new way to let people see it.