Washington, DC (November 30, 2022) – Social engagement, activism, open-mindedness. But also anxiety, skepticism, feeling overwhelmed, distrust of political debate. This is how Generation Z – better known as Gen Z – defines its relationship with the world of traditional media and with major foreign policy issues. What emerged from the event “GenZ, The News, And The World”, organized yesterday by the Embassy of Italy in Washington as part of its Digital Diplomacy Series, provided a complex and undoubtedly “non-monolithic” generational photograph, using an expression that members of Gen Z themselves wanted to emphasize several times during the conversation.
“Generation Z is fully among our foreign policy stakeholders,” highlighted the Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Mariangela Zappia, opening the event. “We must therefore be able to listen to members of Gen Z and take into account their contribution to the debate on global challenges and other topical issues,” she added. The Ambassador highlighted Italian initiatives, such as organizing the first Youth4Climate event during Italy’s G20 presidency, which has become a permanent platform on climate change, and emphasized disinformation and the protection of personal data, among the most topical issues in the relationship between members of Gen Z and the world of information.
During the event at the Italian Embassy, particular attention was given to a debate on platforms: the presence of the youngest on TikTok and Instagram, but also Gen Z’s use of traditional media, for some time now interested in attracting young readers in a less and less traditional way.
The speakers who took part in the event at the Italian Embassy were all young. They include the Italian Alessandro Tommasi, founder and CEO of Will Media, present on multiple online platforms with an audience of millions of users. Sophie Beren of The Conversationalist, just named “30 Under 30” by Forbes; Carmella Boykin, part of the small team behind The Washington Post’s extremely popular TikTok channel; and Monica Anderson, Pew Research Center’s expert on technology and the Internet, including younger generations’ use of social media, also participated in the conversation moderated by Rachel Janfaza, former CNN journalist and author of the newsletter The Up And Up on members of Gen Z.