Rural teens seek (but rarely find) themselves in local news coverage
There is a heightened interest in what goes on in the heads and hearts of modern teenagers — dubbed “Generation Z” (Gen Z) — particularly by legacy media. But teenagers from rural communities, especially in the Midwest, are not often factored into mainstream Gen Z coverage. This can be attributed to a number of factors, such as living in a news desert, living in the middle of the country, and-or unpredictable Wi-Fi access that hampers engagement with news and information sources.
With these barriers to access in mind, the central question becomes: Do rural Gen Z teenagers see themselves in the news they consume? If they do, what news topics and-or information is of interest to them? Where do they consume it? And if they don’t consume news and information, how can they be compelled to engage with it?