Young people are voting. Isn’t that precious?


KYW 1060 AM outclevered itself with a series about youth voting that they somewhat pejoratively called “Look Who’s Voting Now.”

One pictures those unfortunate infants who not only had to suffer the ignominy of having their thoughts voiced by Bruce Willis and Roseanne Barr but also had to deal with Kirstie Alley and John Travolta as their parents.

Ok, I’m over the name.  Substance-wise, it’s more of your typical meta-stories that focus as much or more on the process of voting itself as they do on finding out what young voters are concerned about when they pull the lever.  In fact, of the ten different pieces (each of which are about a minute long) there is only one that asks about the issues at all (audio here). And even that one is a little light on the substance.

Then again, why should the focus be on  the issues of importance for young voters?  The intended audience for this series is clearly the adults who consider themselves political junkies and treat elections like sporting contests.  A series like this is little different from a series for baseball fans about how the Phillies starting rotation could help or hurt their chances to make the playoffs.

That said, I gotta admit, I must be right smack in the middle of that target audience because I have found it pretty interesting.   Among my favorites so far have been this interview with State Representative Tony Payton Jr. who was first elected to office at age 25, this one about what the major parties are doing to reach out to young voters (especially fun to hear State Rep. TJ Rooney say “Facebook” and “Myspace”), and this one in which a couple of veteran campaign consultants try to predict whether the youth vote will finally exceed expectations and turn out en masse in the fall.  (Audio for those three are here, here, and here.)

I’d be really interest to know what actual young voters think about this series.  Do they agree with what the “experts” are saying about them?   Do they agree with what people their own age are saying about the major issues or how they’re getting their information?

Or do they, as I do, think that all of these efforts to do stories about the “youth vote” are missing the point and should be instead stories about what the candidates themselves are proposing that would affect the lives of these voters?


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