In hopes of sparking youth interest in global issues, Christina Guan created News4Teens, an online news source offering written works on global business, entertainment, science/technology, sports, and much more. Christina, unlike many of her peers, is highly interested in increasing the amount of globally aware teens, and hopes to finish off her graduating year at Moscrop Secondary with this in mind as she continues to offer a source that is much like Y57, something created for youth, by youth.
News4Teens ensures every article is 200 words or less in order for the information to be concise. Each piece of writing also includes what they call ‘readable’ language and vocabulary. It may seem odd to limit themselves on how they write, but considering the minimal amount of youth interest in current events, especially when it comes to online news sources, News4Teens might be catching on to something.
A Harvard study conducted in 2007 concluded that 28% of teens between 12 and 17 said they pay almost no attention to daily news. Youth tend to enjoy soft stories about celebrities rather than hard news stories like the war in Iraq or anything to do with politics. To battle this trend, News4Teens promotes their heavily global and controversial stories on their homepage. Before clicking on the entertainment or sports section of the site, readers must first glance over headlines about the Sri Lankan or Brazilian floods, or the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that recently hit Iran. The study also concluded that one in 20 teens say they rely heavily on a daily newspaper to stay updated on local and global news rather than going out of their way to read other sources. It’s hard to pick up a newspaper and disregard the front page. News4Teens must face a common threat of being an online news source. With the Internet it’s easier to play games, conduct research, or play around with social media without seeing news.
On the Internet, readers have to make a deliberate choice to read news, and it seems that teens and young adults just aren’t doing it. Christina and her team hope that their accessible and youth-created content will stimulate youth interest in less celebrity stories but in stories that aid youth in learning about the world. Make sure to check out their website where you can submit your own article or add them on Facebook!