Op-Ed, Opinion

OP-ED: Unique outlets provide information to help strengthen the voice of Gen Z

Op-Eds do not reflect the editorial opinion of The Daily Free Press. They are solely the opinion of the author.

 

Amanda Healy (COM ‘25) is a second year Journalism student in the College of Communication. 

 

Have you ever been told you spend too much time on your phone? Stereotypes often depict Gen Z as glued to their devices, not caring about detrimental events taking place in the world. Even though these young adults may not watch traditional news outlets to receive information on current events, they still stay informed in unique ways.  

Social media can be a tricky place to find out the truth due to the frequency of online misinformation. Yet, misinformation isn’t just found on social media — it’s  everywhere.

You need to stay skeptical when consuming news, but social media is a good place to discuss politics because individuals already turn to these platforms. Over 68% of Gen Z turn to social media for news at least once a week. 

To stay up to date on the Nov. 8 midterm elections, Gen Z used social media and entertainment outlets to gain information. While older generations may not take these sources seriously, they can provide information in comedic ways that make it easier to digest. 

Singer Meghan Trainor posted a TikTok about the importance of voting, but she sang the lyrics while TikToker Chris Olsen twerked in the background. 

Haley Alvarez-Lauto | Graphic Artist

As a member of Gen Z, I constantly discover new information on social media because it is quick and easy. 

When looking at the midterm elections, voting is more important now than ever. The outcome of these elections will influence the control of Congress along with crucial decisions surrounding abortion rights. 

Sam Shlafstein, a Gen Z for Change member, discussed the idea that this is a social media election. Young adults are finding their voice on social media and are willing to fight for their beliefs. 

Gen Z doesn’t just get their information from platforms like Instagram and Twitter. They also receive news from entertainment shows such as “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.”

While these shows are not your typical news program, their segments use humor and fast pacing to grab the audience’s attention and discuss serious topics. 

The segment “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents: Jordan Klepper Fingers the Midterms” is a perfect example of comedic news that uses its platform to show the realities of accepting loss. 

Klepper talks to individuals at rallies for the midterm election who deny the results of the 2020 presidential election in states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona. 

Many of those interviewed did not care about the person running for governor. Instead, they were more concerned about getting Donald Trump back into office. 

These interviews highlighted the ignorance the crowd displayed for events that transpired right in front of them. 

One lady was present for the United States Capitol attack on Jan. 6, 2021, and stated, “It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. Thousands, maybe a million of people gathered, so quiet. It was a peaceful rally.” 

Although there is video evidence displaying heartbreaking violence, this woman insists that the footage is fake.

Hearing these conversations was incredibly worrying. Though Klepper is using humor to get his message across, I have never been more frightened, yet empowered, to use my voice and make a change.  

Segments from late-night shows and clips from TikTok share news in ways that have never been done before. These formats leave a lasting impression on Gen Z and inspire them to advocate for their beliefs. 




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