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Colt Chronicle

Millennials and the Media

In this tumultuous presidential election, many students question their relationship with the mainstream media.

Ramishah Maruf, Editor-in-Chief

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Originally submitted to the Florida Scholastic Press Association Fall Digital Contest.

She just wanted him to be called one word: a rapist.

Senior Lauren Goldstein opens her Twitter, her thumb scrolling through the trending news. It’s been less than a month since Brock Turner, who was charged for raping a woman at Stanford University, was released early from his six month sentence from county jail. One of the first headlines she sees is from The New York Post, referring to Turner as an “All-American Swimmer.” The next, a swimming star by a local Fox channel. With each headline she reads she grows increasingly agitated.

Washington Post, St. Louis-Post Dispatch, CBS News. All respectable news outlets. But according to Goldstein, all failing to report the real story.

“The media’s handling of the Brock Turner case was the tip of the iceberg for me when it comes to trusting them. He violently raped a woman, yet the media couldn’t even call him a rapist,” Goldstein said. “When a person of color gets shot, their mugshot and criminal record are published everywhere, but Turner got to have his yearbook photo and swimming records. The media failed women like me; they openly downplayed rape.”

Goldstein joins the 88% of millennials, according to a Harvard University’s Institute of Politics poll, who say they only “sometimes” or “never” trust the press. A survey of 100 Coral Springs students showed that 63% felt they couldn’t trust the mainstream media. Millennials, their generation often labeled as being more progressive than their predecessors, have become part of a growing cultural trend when it comes to national institutions such as the media and corporations.

“The media is basically a corporation now and is extremely biased,” Goldstein said. “Journalism is meant to speak for the people, but I feel like it doesn’t anymore.”

It’s the current political climate, according to junior Tyler Williams, that is straining the relationship between millennials and the media. From claims of a “Bernie Bias,” the alleged media blackout of Bernie Sander’s campaign during the democratic primary, decades worth of sexist coverage of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, to a complete renunciation of objectivity in the coverage Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign, millennials on both ends of the political spectrum have been protesting the reporting of the presidential election.

“Voters of Donald Trump have been stigmatized by the mainstream media since he announced his campaign. They’re ignoring Clinton’s history yet putting a microscope on every one of Trump’s actions,” Williams said. “The media is supposed to just report the facts, but they’re making no effort to hide their support for [Hillary Clinton].”

However, many believe the media has no choice but to report the events surrounding them.

“Trump supporters think the media is biased against him because Trump is the only nominee whose actions are worth reporting. You don’t see Hillary yelling racist remarks every day or putting her ignorance on display for the world,” senior Alex Delgado said. “Trump is a reality TV show. Clinton is a poised, viable candidate.”

The journalism field is experiencing massive turmoil, from low job prospects, increasing layoffs and lost revenue. The public’s trust in the media is at an all time low, with 74% of Coral Springs students, based off a poll of 100, believe the media “sometimes” or “fails” to report the truth.

Yet for junior Amanda Russo, there isn’t a better time to be a part of journalism.

“I understand why people don’t trust the media, but that should inspire students to pursue it even more so we can fix it,” Russo said. “We think that the National Enquirer or People is journalism, but there are some amazing pieces being published right now. Journalism will always be the voice of the people, no matter what happens.”

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Millennials and the Media