I'm not about to go naming and shaming, nor will I condemn the many over the attitudes of the few, but a worrying trend has emerged.
This all came about when I was explaining a story idea to a fellow student. The idea in question was covering the Republic debate that has been going on for quite a while now. I explained the idea of getting interviews from a monarchist and republican, but the student didn't like the idea.
It wasn't that they didn't think we could get enough shots for it (It was a TV story) or that it was hard to find compelling interviews, but that they just didn't give a damn about it. They didn't know enough about the debate, they didn't care about it, and then they said something that really alarmed me.
"I don't care about all that politics stuff, I just trust whoever is in charge to make decisions on stuff like that"
Then I informed them there would probably be a referendum about the issue.
"I don't care, I mean, in the last election I just left my paper blank"
This was a future member of the fourth estate telling me that they didn't vote...at all. I was flabbergasted, all I could manage was "Well...I worked for the electoral commission during the election".
They did come up with a great alternate story, but the political apathy really worried me. There does seem to be a great ennui with the political machine from a youth perspective, but this person was considering being a journalist.
You'd think that with a room full of future journalists, the air would be rich with debate regarding points of legislation but no, the air was dampened with talk of how pissed they were going to get on the weekend.
These are the people who are going to be setting the agenda in newsrooms in the future, and some of them don't vote, and don't plan to. Not out of any disestablishment sentiment (My big words indulgence for the day), but out of sheer apathy.
Be afraid, be very afraid.