How Teens Can Keep Up with the News

Student Life

Though a large handful of teenagers are interested in learning about current events and prominent global matters, keeping up with the news can be a big challenge. Most news articles from popular and well-regarded newspapers are extremely in-depth, complicated, and for many teens, confusing. It is difficult to find straight forward news that makes it easy for teenagers to understand the most important information about an event. Here are some platforms that will help you keep up with the news, along with a few tips to help you find out the best way to stay aware of major events.

The Cramm

The Cramm allows Gen Z to learn more about current events. As The Cramm states on their website, “It’s short and straight to the point.” The Cramm can send you the latest news through text or email. Most importantly, The Cramm is written by a teen who understands how challenging it can be to keep up with the news as a teen.

As a subscriber of The Cramm, I can attest to the fact that it is concise, brief, yet still humorous and engaging. Every morning, on the way to school, I quickly scan the email I receive from The Cramm, and just like that, I am aware of current events.

Student News Daily

The Student News Daily is a news site that informs high school students about current events. The primary topics that articles fall under are news and politics. However, at times, there are other types of articles as well.

As a subscriber, you will receive “Answers by email.” In other words, you will have access to daily news articles and more. Reading the Student News Daily is very simple and easy for most teenagers. You can quickly skim an article and gain knowledge about the event that has taken place.

The New York Times: The Learning Network

The New York Times Learning Network is not a platform with solely news articles, though there are discussions around major current events. However, The New York Times Learning Network is meant to get teens thinking and learning about prominent issues and topics more deeply.

This platform has various writing prompts, discussion questions, and contests. No matter what the available activity around a particular issue or topic is, as a teen, you will have the opportunity to explore matters that you have always felt you were too young enough to fully understand or grasp.

Keeping Up With The News Does Not Have To Be Time Consuming

It is understandable that perusing long, detailed articles can be both challenging and overwhelming. However, by taking advantage of resources designed for teens specifically, you will have an easier time keeping up with the news.

There are times where I simply read the headlines of publications such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. By just reading the titles of articles, I have an idea of what important events have occurred.

The way in which you gather your news is unimportant, as long as your method works for you. Whether it is scanning the headlines of articles or using resources including The Cramm, Student News Daily, or The New York Times Learning Network, you will be able to stay aware of news happening all around the world. Unquestionably, that should be your goal: engaging with news and current events.

Why Is Keeping Up With The News Important?

You may be asking yourself this question. The answer is simple: knowing the news means you can take action to advocate for an issue that you are passionate about. The only way major issues will be resolved is by people not only understanding the matter but also wanting to take the first step towards change.

It is ridiculous and unrealistic to assume that every person who reads the news is interested in making some immense change in the world. But, you might be inspired to take action or help make a difference.

Awareness of current events prevents you from being oblivious. For instance, I am very passionate about eradicating period poverty, the lack of access to period products such as pads, tampons, and menstrual cups. I first learned about period poverty through the news. If I had not been aware of recent ongoing regarding period poverty, I would never have become passionate about the issue.

Gather Your News From Reliable Platforms

In 2020, the Pew Research Center reported that a large handful of adults in the United States utilize social media as a means of gathering information about news. They concluded, "As of late last year, 18% of U.S. adults say they turn most to social media for political and election news. That’s lower than the share who use news websites and apps (25%), but about on par with the percent who say their primary pathway is cable television (16%) or local television (16%), and higher than the shares who turn to three other pathways mentioned in the survey (network TV, radio and print)."

Social media apps such as Instagram and Facebook are filled with information regarding recent events. However, they are not the best platforms to receive accurate, unbiased information. Take more time to truly learn about the news.

Ignorance Has Negative Impacts On Our Democracy

According to the American Psychological Association, less than 20% of teenagers in the United States read books, magazines, or newspapers daily for their own enjoyment. On the other hand, 80% of teens report using social media every day. Therefore, it is indicated that teens are getting their information from untrustworthy platforms.

It is vital to remain educated on important topics and issues. With the small number of teens engaged in current events, staying informed is more important than ever.

Understand That You Are Part Of The Conversations

A countless number of teenagers feel that they should not be included in important discussions surrounding major topics or issues. However, encourage yourself to reject the mindset that teens cannot be involved in news, politics, and global matters.

As a teen, you have the power to make a difference in the world. And it starts with allowing yourself to be up-to-date about current events. Even if you only spend a few minutes reading about prominent current events, you are providing yourself with the incredible opportunity of having a say in what happens in your community and beyond.

Sophene Avedissian
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Sophene Avedissian is a freshman at Westridge School for Girls. She is the author of Stand Tall, a book that highlights women's rights issues, an editor for Polyphony Lit, and a Los Angeles Times High School Insider. During her free time, Sophene enjoys reading, playing soccer, and spending time with family and friends.