But could it all be due to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)?
Don’t get me wrong, advocating is a big part of activism; except, where is that energy when it comes to local news?
Gen Z, as a whole, has a blindspot – and it’s their own backyard.
When everyone is talking about the same issues, they are bound to lose sight of the smaller things that impact our local communities.
An exclusive Misinformation and News Literacy survey of 101 Gen Z in South Carolina found that 62% of Gen Z do not consume their local news.
The results also revealed that 77% of the respondents use social media as a primary news source.
This is not concerning because several respondents mentioned outlets such as the Washington Post, CNN, AP News and the New York Times as news sources they follow on social media.
But the amount of people out of touch with their local news was disappointing.
I believe the reason for Gen Z’s interest in global and national news could be FOMO.
The results raise the question of if people are actually concerned about news or if they just want to weigh in on a trending topic.
For example, a good friend of mine was telling me how he felt about the Israel-Hamas matter, a subject he seemed to know a lot about.
Instead of giving my opinion, I opted to take it as an opportunity to quiz him on local news affecting the city of Orangeburg, South Carolina.
I asked him what he knew about the ordinance being voted on by Orangeburg City Council – an act that would essentially allow law enforcement to fine and arrest unsheltered individuals “camping in an urban area.”
He knew nothing and was quite shocked.
The city has since postponed decisions on the ordinance to allow time to find suitable alternatives, but the fact that people weren’t talking about it is worrisome.
While it may be tempting to chime in on hot topics, I challenge you to take a look in your own backyard and advocate for the issues affecting your local community.
Tyuanna Williams (she/her/hers) is a senior mass communications major at Claflin University. She is working with YR Media as a Poynter and Google News Initiative Misinformation Student Fellow. Follow her on X: @tyuannasw.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett