Interview: Elizabeth Bratton on the Importance of News that Speaks to Gen-Z
Youth for Positive Change talked to Elizabeth Bratton about the importance of news that speaks to Gen-Z
Would you mind explaining a bit about yourself and your website Doorstep News?
My name is Elizabeth Bratton and I am the editor-in-chief of Doorstep News, an online resource centre for all things current affairs. I founded the site just before the UK went into lockdown. At first, we were just a small group of writers with about five volunteers; however, now we have over 30 journalists on our team, which consists of students from around the globe, living in countries such as the UAE, Nigeria, the UK and the U.S. We are determined to help other young people engage with the world around them, and we promote this by maintaining objectivity in almost all of our articles. That being said, we encourage young people to express their informed opinions; this is the purpose of the "Op-Eds" section of our website. We predominantly focus on politics, current affairs, and conflict; however, we do also have "sports", "culture", and "history" sections that we are eager to fill up!
What was the inspiration behind starting Doorstep News?
I wanted to create an accessible news platform for young people and also meet like-minded reporters. The amount of misinformation circulating around the internet is concerning and this particularly harms Generation Z, considering so many of us use social media. I wanted to create a news source specifically with this generation in mind. The outbreak of COVID-19 inspired me even more to create the site.
Would you say that mainstream newspapers and media orgs. are failing to get young people interested in current affairs?
I think the mainstream media lacks accessibility – it is often behind a paywall. I think experts overuse jargon, which is a turn-off for young people. I also think the media is becoming ridiculously polarised, to the point that it is often difficult to know who or what to trust. Misleading headlines, manipulated statistics, quotes taken out of context: these are things that turn our generation away from the news. Mainstream organisations need to recognise that they are dependent on us youth when it comes to spreading awareness; we are the ones who share stories at the click of a button, create popular hashtags, and organise protests in the streets.
Gen-Z is one of the most politically active generations to date. If young people learned more about the news, do you think we’d become even more socially involved?
I do think the number of coordinated actions would increase if young people were more aware of international affairs. That being said, I think young people are already doing a lot: campaigning online, attending school, and often working part-time. Social media has helped students to form online groups, safe spaces, and communities. Recently, we have seen the importance of youth-led activism in the reporting that’s been done on the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Nigeria. Demonstrations have even been organised in London, highlighting the importance of mobilising activists across the globe.
Finally, how can those interested submit to Doorstep News?
BIOGRAPHY: Elizabeth Bratton is a 17 year old aspiring journalist, who founded Doorstep News in March of this year. Elizabeth recognises the importance of covering international stories to present a diverse range of perspectives and to expand people's mindsets.