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Journalism in the Eyes of Gen Z by maleah downton

Generation Z—outspoken, determined and destined to make changes.

Loosely born from 1995-2010, Generation Z is the generation of change and empowerment. This social media driven generation is slowly taking over the world. Composed of digital natives and progressive thinkers, the possibilities and range of their impact are limitless.

They are the future—we are the future.

As the journalism industry continues to evolve and grow in our digital society, Generation Z will soon step up and take the baton. We have the capability to craft our journalism skills in an environment lined with open doors. We are innovators, creatives, influencers and phenomenal storytellers with endless potential.

Surrounded by over 700 fellow Generation Z'ers here at the Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop, I began to think of how we will take on this responsibility. How do we differ from past generations and what makes us unique? As I pondered on the role we will hold in our world's media, I asked other students what journalism means to our generation and what do they see for the future of this industry. Their responses are featured in this project.

Lauren Ready, Lake Ridge High School (Mansfield, TX)
In the future, I see journalism growing as we get new technology, but I feel like we're always going to stick to the same thing. Our generation is really creative and open minded to a lot of things with our changing world.

- Junior Lauren Ready

Lake Ridge High School (Mansfield, TX)

Nadia Sanburn, Lawrence High School (Lawrence, KS)
I think journalism is a way to lay out the truth. It is a place where people can go to get what is real, separate from fiction. Our generation is special because of our willingness to report on the truth and be tolerant of other groups in a time where journalism is being attacked. It's our willingness to truck on ahead.

- Junior Nadia Sanburn

Lawrence High School (Lawrence, KS)

Gini Horton, Shawnee Mission South High School, Overland Park (KS)
Everything has become faster and more efficient. What makes us different is the opportunity we had to grow up with the shift towards online. We know print, but we also know how to use and utilize the Internet for news.

- Senior Gini Horton

Shawnee Mission South (Overland, KS)

Amara Shanks, Legacy High School (Mansfield, TX)
Journalism is a place where you can put out your thoughts and feelings through pictures, words, videos and more. It's a place where you can express yourself and have everyone understand, listen, or look and see what you do.

- Junior Amara Shanks

Legacy High School (Mansfield, TX)

Melena Hunt, Carroll Senior High School (South Lake, TX)
Journalism is having a voice. It gets you out of your comfort zone. For our generation, there's a lot of social issues and movements going on. Journalism is a good way to get our voice out there. It's powerful.

- Senior Melena Hunt

Carroll Senior High School (South Lake, TX)

Following this project, I have been instilled with greater confidence in Generation Z. After listening to my peers and their thoughts on the subject, I have learned that this generation is prepared and ready to take on this responsibility. As we begin to take the baton, we are doing so immersed with motivation to change the world.

We are capable. We are eager. We are passionate.

Generation Z knows the strength held within journalism. They understand it's power and it's infinite capabilities. Our ideas will never be confined to a box; we have dismantled the boxes. We are redefining what it means to be a journalist in our modern society.

Journalism will never stop growing. The way we receive news is continually transforming as new technology is introduced. However, as this craft continues to evolve, its integrity will always remain intact.

As a member of Generation Z, for me, journalism is an uplifter. Through this art of storytelling, I have the ability to uplift voices: voices of fear, voices of joy, voices of strength, voices of perseverance and voices of my community. It is my inspiration. Journalism gives me faith in our future.

In the eyes of us Generation Z'ers, journalism is an ever-progressing outlet for expression and storytelling, as well as a necessary tool to our complex society.

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