In the news – How knowledgeable Is Canfield High School?

Joshua Farley, Sophomore Contributor

It’s no secret that, in the year 2020, the news, politics, and media have become more pervasive in society than ever before. And, this, more and more, includes younger people, even those who are not yet old enough to vote, as people’s access to information grows more and more by the day. For example, Democratic Presidential Candidate Michael Bloomberg has increasingly used social media advertisements to boost his campaign, even having famous Tik Tok influencers dance to clips of his voice. However, teen-oriented advertisements like this are often more sizzle than substance, and true journalistic facts are often hard to find. As these politics target young people more and more with their quasi-facts, one has to wonder how much young people really know about the news, and what opinions they have started to form for themselves, based on the current social media landscape. How much do people here really know about the news? Let’s find out.

To get to the bottom of this question, I developed a survey asking the students of Canfield High School about their level of knowledge, and some loose questions on their political views. These were: 

  1. How Many Times a Week Do You View News Content?
  2. What Is the Main Source(s) That You Get Your News From?
  3. What Issues Do You Hear/ Know the Most About?
  4. What Political Party/ Ideology Do You Most Identify With?

These questions were distributed to study hall students, and their answers were collected on paper. The results were fifteen diverse responses to the questions, revealing a vast collection of differing political opinions and lifestyles surrounding the news. These were their results:

1.      2.                                                               3.                             4.

3/4 Local Politics Neither  
7 National (Diverse) Foreign Relations Republican  
7 National (simple) and Family Politics Republican  
3 Social Media Domestic Politics Democrat  
1 National (Diverse) and Family Climate Change Neither  
0 Family Coronavirus Republican   
7 National (Diverse) Foreign Relations Democrat  
7 National (Diverse) and Local Domestic Politics Republican  
7 National (Simple) and Social Media Domestic Politics Republican  
6/7 National (Simple) and Social Media Tax Republican  
0 Social Media Politics Republican  
1/2 Local Politics Neither  
0 Family Election Politics Republican  
3 Social Media Politics Democrat  
2 Social Media Politics Democrat  

 

These results clearly show the truth about modern politics: that even though greater attention is being placed on mass media, people and what they believe are just as varied and diverse as ever. This idea remains particularly interesting as divides seem to exist at the national level, showing that people may not be as different from each other as many may think. If this mass media was as effective as hoped, then most people would most likely have only one reliable source they turned to for news, and almost all of them would stand with the same political party. However, it seems that the students here in Canfield can pat themselves on the back for staying up to date with the news, and for staying true to themselves and their belief systems. As many would criticize today’s teens as lazy, these results make clear that the opposite is true: that our town’s students have been doing their part in following the news, and are ready to add their voice to the running of our country.

Being well-informed is the cornerstone of this country’s democracy, and even though Canfield’s students are doing a good job with this job, there is still more work to be done. We can each reach out to our friends and family, who may feel less informed, and share the truth with them. We should all strive to know as much as possible about our country, and use this information to do what’s right: represent our beliefs as accurately as possible, and ultimately, to make the world a better place.