Scholarly thoughts

7 Sep

There is a wealth of information available online about Australia’s political system and current issues. What is not so easy to come by is Gen Y’s involvement in the political system and what motivates them to get involved, or disengage.

There was an article done in 2000 reviewing the way the ‘youth’ connects with current affairs programs on television which I thought had a very interesting take on the youth and media relationship.

This article has suggested that due largely to the news media’s presentation, politics, democracy and citizenship have developed a bad reputation with young people. In many respects, the very foundations of democracy have become contradictory and marginalising for the young. However, Tara Brabazon46 states that in an era of few alternatives youth are inherently suspicious of the rhetoric behind the media while at the same time they are naturally drawn to the reflexivity and social consciousness the media yields for them. This attraction may be especially strong for new media such as the internet, but it also exists for more enduring cultural technologies such as television, radio and magazines.

I think their predictions were quite correct in saying that the youth will engage online instead of with traditional media.

A more recent study was done by the University of Western Sydney on the youth’s engagement with politics and democracy. Some of their findings were also pertinent to what I want to achieve. The authors came to a number of conclusions including:

  • Young people express frustration that their participation in formal Political institutions and processes are neither acknowledged nor seen as relevant.
  • The contribution that young people can make to the civic and Political life of the nation through their utilisation of information and communication technologies (ICT) should be acknowledged.

As part of their paper they included a quote from one of their research participants which really hit home to me.

even as someone who is extremely knowledgeable about politics relative to the rest of the population, I have no idea how government decisions are made in Australia to some degree…Even if you are seeking to find out as a young person, what you’ll probably be told is something very different from reality which I think is very confusing for a lot of people.” – Markus

Overall the paper found that Generation Y doesn’t like to be lied to or taken for granted, and we’re very unforgiving to people and organisations that abuse our trust.

All of these are very important things to keep in mind while developing ‘cut the crap’ into something successful.

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