Streaming apps, social media change the way people keep up with news

Whereas once teens would watch the news with their parents as they ate and worked on homework, now the only noise to fill the background is the sound of Netflix and Hulu. Does this change in source of entertainment impact how students get their news? Many teens from Warsaw High believe that streaming apps and social media distract from the mainstream news outlets, and provide unreliable news sources.

  “I’m definitely an avid Netflix watcher. My favorite show is Marvel: Agents of Shield. I’d rather watch Netflix than cable news,” senior Eli Hawkins said. “I watch the news maybe once a week, usually just because my parents are watching it. If I do watch news, I get it from YouTube. If I miss a game I can catch highlights on there, or if a hurricane is about to blast Florida I can look that up.”

  Hawkins says that, despite not watching the traditional cable news a whole lot, he believes he is still aware of the news of the country because of how often he listens to YouTube. He says his current events class also helps keep him informed.

  “I think it’s important that you watch the right people. You can’t trust some random vlog to give you all your news. Always make sure you have a reliable source,” Hawkins said.

  Sophomore Kyleigh Hines has a similar experience with news. While she listens to it as just background noise every morning from her parents watching it, she prefers to use YouTube as her main source.

  “I watch YouTube for international news because we don’t hear a lot about it, we mostly just hear Trump on cable news. Facebook is definitely an unreliable source. It’s important to have reliable sources because they’ll tell you who to vote for with completely wrong reasons – it’s all just opinions and no facts,” Hines said. “Usually when I get on social media it’s just to see how my cousins are doing.”

  Many households have traded dish and cable for streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and HBO. As a result, they are less likely to be aware of the news happening worldwide. Hines also believes that streaming services impact what kind of news teens are watching.

  “I think Netflix and Hulu impact how much news I get. It’s easier to just switch on my favorite show – you have to work harder to seek out news,” Hines said.

  Government teacher Jared Steenburgen believes it’s vital for everyone to be aware of what’s happening in the world, and to use reliable sources so that they can avoid fake or biased news.

  “Reliability is the most important thing when getting information because I don’t know if I want to get my information from Jayden Schepker about the weather,” Steenburgen said. “I would choose cable over social media, because it usually has people who research the topic and there’s always some form of accountability. With social media, anyone can put anything out there. Big Red can weigh in on the Trump administration. But, a lot of people don’t even have cable anymore – they have Netflix. So their access is very limited.”

  While Steenburgen preaches the importance of reliability, some would argue that social media outlets can be more effective so long as a reader uses the right source.

  Junior Joe Montez prefers to get his news from Buzzfeed because of the easy access to it and the speed in which they relay news.

  “I watch HLN news almost every morning because my mom always has it playing in the living room. That’s why I’m so politically involved.

You gotta be able to know what’s going on in the world so you can either fix it or support it”

— sophomore Joe Montez

,” Montez said. “I follow
Buzzfeed news on Instagram. Most people say they’re not a very good source but I think they are very good at reporting their stuff. They’re reliable because they have people always on the clock reporting stuff – they’re always on top of the news. I would choose social media over cable because social media is more available and I can just listen to the news in my room and not in the living room.”

  Montez agrees that streaming services impact access to cable news.

  “I think Netflix and Hulu may block users from watching cable because they don’t have ads, and people would prefer watching something without ads or interruptions,” Montez said.

  In the end, regardless of whether students get their news from social media or cable, they can always search it out on their own. Steenburgen has his own set of rules and advice for getting trustworthy information.

  “If you’re looking up news or information, websites should always end in .gov or .org,” Steenburgen said. “Never trust something ending in .com, because anyone can get on there and spew out information.”