June 05, 2020
My family gets its news from different sources. I was amazed how quickly the children learned all about George Floyd’s death – and its searing injustice
The TikTok generation of my kids is not only better informed but more politicised
I suppose, though I couldn’t swear to it, families used to sit round the TV together and watch the same news. Now we all get our news separately, me from Twitter, the kids from TikTok, my Mr from reputable radio and newspaper sources. It means we disregard each other totally. I honestly assumed the young ones know nothing except whatever can be conveyed about slime in 15 seconds or one minute (the two time options for a TikTok). Everything Mr Z says, I tend to have read 24 minutes before. For his part, every time he looks over I’m watching a video of a mischievous goat, or driver and a cyclist having an argument, which he takes as a sign that I’ve given up on the world. 
The riots in the US completely capsized all this: for the first two days, the 12s-and-under had a much more precise understanding of the whole thing, not just the details of George Floyd’s death, but the searing rage around it and the likely scale of the protests. “He wasn’t a stranger, he was a co-worker,” they would explain patiently about the police officer videoed kneeling on Floyd’s neck, in the hours when traditional news stories were still limited to the most pared-down accounts. This is the Job of journalism, to report only what’s been verified; I know that, I wouldn’t have it otherwise. But the kids were picking up a different frequency, in which the truth was self-evident, and all this plodding, boomer fact-checking was just a way to dampen with delay a crime that could not be minimised. 
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