I WAS in the elevator when I overheard some fellow students talking about the upcoming 2016 elections. They were discussing the various potential presidential candidates. Apparently, they came across various articles through the links that their Facebook friends shared.

I was glad to hear them discuss the matter intently. You’d expect teenagers to be talking about celebrity gossip, boys, computer games, etc., but there they were discussing politicians’ histories, their pros and cons, and what problems of the country the politicians need to address in their campaigns.

The thing about this that struck me most was how they came across the subject matter in the first place.

In class we’ve discussed the history of journalism and how it’s evolved throughout time. From its early days in the form of print to today’s newer, more accessible form, namely, E-Journalism.

We owe a lot to this increased accessibility for the surge in political awareness, especially among the youth. Not to say that teenagers didn’t care about politics before E-Journalism (and social media, which plays a great role in spreading the word) came along, but it certainly has made it easier for such serious, “grown-up” issues to reach young people.

This is really important because most teenagers don’t like to put a lot of effort into getting their daily updates on news and current events.

Any teenager could go on their Facebook newsfeed, Twitter timeline, or Tumblr dashboard on any given day and time and find several news items there. The news items go to them instead of them having to scour around the internet.

Most often, teenagers don’t go online looking to read about what President Aquino’s up to, but if they happen to stumble upon it, let’s say, via a retweet of a friend, chances are they’ll read it, and maybe even share it with others, too.

Although newspapers have always done their job well, it can’t be denied that E-journalism, with the help of social media, has helped news become easier to access and therefore made it more inviting to the technology-oriented generation.

More importantly, it has helped raise political awareness among the youth, which is crucial because, as the cliché saying goes, they are the country’s hope.

It’s important that these young minds are molded to become politically sound, so that when their time comes and they’re the ones running things, they’ll be able to serve better than the generations before them, and, hopefully, shape the country into the best it can be.

-o0o-

Isabelle is an AB English student of Ateneo de Davao University.

Like all other days, I went through my daily routine of riding a jeep to school, listening to music, looking at things that are always there like the old lady who sells candies in front of a hotel on San Pedro Street, the big hotels, the beggars sleeping in front of San Pedro church, the vendors, and the traffic enforcers in green uniform. (Isabelle Arizola)