As adults, we’re often quick to dismiss the opinions of teenagers on world affairs as ill-informed and superficial, particularly as seen and heard on social media.
Mind you, that’s a charge that could be typically levelled at the opinions of young and older alike when aired in those open spaces.
When everyone’s a publisher, the role of the editor becomes increasingly important if we’re to say something worth hearing. Free speech can too easily become cheap speech, and if words come cheap, they rarely cost a thought. So when most of what we hear from teenagers comes unfiltered to our adult ears, it’s easy to conclude that they don’t hold thoughtful and well-informed opinions on the things that matter to us all, young and older alike.
Read All About It.
There’s no shortage of media targeting young people, but none seem to seek their informed views on issues that matter. Enter a new Editor-in-chief. Although still in school, our featured Kickstart Your Business guest, Harry McCann has been an entrepreneur for the past three years. He was prompted to set up Trendster with his schoolfriend and business partner Jack Cullen, in order to give young people a platform to tell their own stories, comment on the news, and give a thoughtful voice to a generation.
Harry is Editor-in-chief to a team of correspondents across the world from Ireland to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and beyond. Whilst the new publication is still finding its voice, it’s evident from the growing readership here in Ireland and further afield, that there’s a real appetite for news for the young people, by the young people.
Airing Harry’s Views
As an inveterate opinion-maker and news hound, George was audibly impressed by Harry and Jack’s precocious ambition and enterprise as publishers and reporters. And he was quick to acknowledge the challenge facing any youthful entrepreneur of gaining access to the same levels of funding and supports enjoyed by their adult counterparts.
Meanwhile, I was struck by the challenge Harry and Jack face in striking a balance between being both the young head and older head on young shoulders at the same time. Whilst the appeal of Trendster to its target audience is likely to lie in its youthful exuberance and freedom of expression, Trendster the business will need to operate in the adult world when it comes to issues around press standards, accountability etc. These youthful entrepreneurs will need to grow up quickly, but not too quickly that they lose touch with their teenage peers.
Your Turn To Start A Trend
What can Harry and Jack do to get teens everywhere tuning in to Trendster?
Listen back to Harry on Kickstart Your Business (with thanks to Energia), and tell us what you think? We’d love to hear from you.
Kickstart Your Business is broadcast on The Right Hook on Newstalk every Thursday around 6.25pm, and is available for playback immediately afterwards at Newstalk.com.