Martin Rooke’s April 10 Ideas piece (“Are young people ambivalent about Ukraine — or about the news?”) mischaracterizes the younger generation’s search for authentic news as a “competition for social prestige” through media deconstruction. The suggestion is that as apathetic, misinformed citizens, we are apparently in no position to discuss the world we live in.
Are we young and naive, or do we simply process our news differently than other generations? While we do use alternative media sources, we are no less interested in or educated on the important issues of the day. Ultimately, my generation seeks authenticity. Rooke is right that we are skeptical about the news we consume, but only to gain a well-rounded perspective on complicated issues.
Our willingness to engage with both alternative and mainstream media allows us to question a source’s credibility from different viewpoints. We’re not trying to be clever or stir the pot; rather, we’re trying to remain open-minded. We respect the complexity of the world by carefully parsing all perspectives available to us.
Our caution and skepticism stem from wanting to be informed citizens. Contrary to Rooke’s statement, the critical eye we bring as consumers of diverse news media may equip young people “to morally assess geopolitics” better than he thinks.
The writer is a student of economics and philosophy at Boston College.