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Op-ed

Yes, I’m a Teen Journalist — Why Is That a Problem?

It’s not easy being a journalist these days. From the President of the United States feeding rants about fake media to his followers — who gleefully eat up every word — to smaller politicians physically attacking reporters, it’s clear there’s a war on professional journalism. For teen journalists, however? That’s a different story.

I applied for Affinity knowing full well I would be writing content that not everyone would be agreeing with. And I have. People have left angry comments on my articles and on Twitter. Sometimes they sting, but I’ve grown a thick skin and learned to mostly ignore them. Afterall, this is part of the career I want to go into.

I’ve seen a common argument against articles on this site, both on mine and others’. No matter the subject, the argument is the same: “You’re a teen, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Yes, we’re all pretty young on here. I turned 17 years old this summer, and some writers on here are even younger. However, we all have a common goal: to get a head start on the career we want, which is journalism. Just because we don’t have journalism degrees from prestigious universities doesn’t mean we can’t be serious writers.

Now, I’m not saying we’re perfect. We’re still in our teens, and we still make mistakes, whether in writing or in other things we do. However, I always do my best to make my articles as accurate as possible. This includes fact-checking and making sure I cite credible sources. This is all a part of good journalism, which is what I aspire to accomplish.

In general, it’s time to stop looking down on the millennial and post-millennial generations.

We are no longer innocent children who are oblivious to the world around us. We are now discovering it and forming opinions and plans on how to change it. Older generations may not like it, but it has to happen.

Right now, we’re still in high school, college, or post-graduate school. Within a few decades, we will become the next generation’s parents, doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, political figures, and— you guessed it— journalists. It’ll be up to baby boomers and Generation X to pass this torch on, so it’s time they stop sneering at our generations.

Yes, I am a teen pursuing journalism. I know full well what I’m talking about. So kindly stop mocking my age just because you don’t agree with what I’m saying.

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Written By

Raine is a 17-year-old aspiring writer with a passion for journalism. She has always enjoyed reading making up stories from a young age, and, as she got older, enjoyed reading magazines and online blogs. Now, she gets to live her dream with Affinity! Besides reading and writing, Raine also enjoys catching up on social media, classic rock, and cats.

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