Are the Young Informed Enough to Vote?

Dawson, Anne (2015) Are the Young Informed Enough to Vote? In: MeCCSA 2015, January 7th 2015, Northumbria University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The Scottish Referendum of September 2014 saw a record turnout of 84.6%, amongst them 16 and 17 year olds, who were given the vote for the first time in UK history, and of whom 70% wanted independence. A wave of post-election enthusiasm for the democratic process might, politicians and educators hope, lead to greater engagement of young people in politics. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats want to see the drop in the voting age north of the border mirrored in the next General Election. But how are young people informed about current affairs, how are they best prepared for this responsibility and do they trust those in power to represent their views? In the United States the Pew Research Centre’s biennial study of news consumption in 2012 found that fewer than 25% of people under the age of 25 consumed any news on a daily basis; 15% fewer than in 2006. And those who consume TV news in a linear way, rather than through their own digital selection, has fallen to 34% among the under 30s age group. In the UK, however, the position seems to have shifted; this summer’s launch of Girlguiding Girls Matter campaign called on politicians to improve their access to safety, political representation and equality. And MsUnderstood, another campaign group for young people, is planning an autumn conference at which the ability of the under 18 generation to influence policy is central to the agenda. So as the UK prepares for May 2015, this project plans to conduct a series of interviews with undergraduate students, studying both Journalism and Humanities subjects to understand their daily and weekly news consumption and how this informs their political opinions. A brief online questionnaire will be used to create a simple stratified sample, which will be used to select participants in a series of recorded semi-structured interviews to collect views. A qualitative coding system will be used to analyze the participants’ views, which will be presented as a series of audio recordings with supporting analysis.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information: 10 minute film - audio recordings
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Media
Research Priority Areas: Being Human - Past, Present & Future
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2015 09:57
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2017 16:16
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1914

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