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Youth value news

Anyone who believes the youth of America fail to connect with newspapers should have fielded a call to The Telegraph’s publisher Sunday.

A distraught young man called in and eventually spoke with the publisher about an artist who had touched his life and tragically died. He indicated he and his friends were so upset by the death that they wanted The Telegraph to do a story and in some way put a voice to their feelings.

In a time of social media and when this teenager could have reached out to anyone, his first thought and his first call were of and to The Telegraph.

The death about which he spoke was of 21-year-old Chicago rapper Juice Wrld. The artist “suffered convulsions and went into cardiac arrest as police and federal agents were searching his and his entourage’s luggage for guns and drugs at a private hangar at Midway Airport over the weekend,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

The teenager who called the publisher’s line directly acknowledged the role drugs may have played in the rapper’s death. He said he didn’t want kids his age to suffer the same fate and wanted to remember Juice Wrld for the music and the lives he touched with his creativity.

It was a powerful phone call. First, kudos to this young man for having the courage to do something most adults don’t: call the publisher of a newspaper directly.

Second, he was able to articulate his feelings about something important to him. There’s strength in the words we speak and write, and this young caller was finding his voice.

Third, the young man showed maturity beyond his years. He said he realized this story was one covered by national news outlets, but he didn’t know what he could or The Telegraph do.

He was encourage to write a letter to the editor and share his thoughts about why this artist meant something to him and what scared him about the tragic way in which Juice Wrld died.

The call took about 20 minutes, and in that time he learned about the power of the press and his ability to write a letter to the editor to voice his opinions in a safe environment. The Telegraph staff learned we connect with readers in ways you sometimes never expect.

When it comes to technology’s influence on America’s young adults, reading is not dead – at least not the news, according to the Pew Research Center. When asked whether one prefers to read, watch or listen to their news, younger adults are far more likely than older ones to opt for text, and most of that reading takes place on the web, Pew reports.

In doesn’t matter whether readers connect with The Telegraph in print, online, via our Facebook Page or other social media, Twitter or text. We value that tomorrow’s generation — our future — wants to connect and with The Telegraph, a true hometown newspaper. And we’re thankful we remain a community paper where its publisher is able to take a call such as this young man’s late on a Sunday.

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