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Engaging Ideas

The "New" News

How the under-18 generation is redefining news

This Engaging Idea explores how young people define news, how they receive it and how they share it; fake news and the issue of accountability are also discussed.


Lynn Schofield Clark Lynn Schofield Clark is Professor and Chair of the Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies and Director of the Estlow International Center for Journalism and New Media at the University of Denver. She currently oversees three research projects: the Teens & The New Media @ Home Project, which explores the introduction of digital and mobile media into U.S. family life (see the book, The Parent App: Understanding Families in a Digital Age); the Young MediaMakers Project, which is studying how young people across various walks of life get and share the news that is important to them in relation to their communities of concern; and the Global Students Online Project, which is studying the possibilities for enhanced intercultural understanding through media-making and online interactions.

An ethnographer who has studied diverse U.S. families and young people for more than 15 years, Clark is interested in how the everyday uses of media shape peoples' experiences of their social identities in the context of widening income inequality in the United States.

Clark's book The Parent App: Understanding Families in a Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2012), was named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice. Soon to be released is Dr. Schofield's book Young People and the Future of News examining contemporary youth practices of proto-political and political communication and activism. (Photo by Wayne Armstrong)

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Questions for personal reflection or group discussion

  1. How do you learn about what is happening in the world?
  2. How do you learn about what is happening among your friends?
  3. How do your friends and coworkers influence what, where, and when you learn about what's going on?
  4. Think back to when you were in high school. Do you think you learn about news differently now then you did then?
  5. What news stories do you think are probably of most interest to young people today? Why?
  6. What do you know about how Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media determine what news you will see in your feed?
  7. What role do you think those organizations should play in determining the news you and others see? How could they be more transparent in the ways they share news?

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