This TikTok Influencer Is Translating the News for Gen Z – and They’re Listening

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Kelsey Russell is meeting her generation where they are to encourage media literacy for “hot Gen Zers” 


Kelsey Russell asked for only one 23rd birthday gift from her dad: a New York Times Sunday print subscription, which she live-reacted to receiving on TikTok. Two days later, Russell kicked off a now-viral content series documenting what she learned “in order to bring back the newspaper.” The first TikTok in the series amassed 1.7 million views and 311,000 likes, and her call to invest in print media has resonated on the platform with a generation everyone else in the media industry is desperately trying to reach.

As TikTok emerges as serious competition to the existing social media space with its 1 billion monthly active users, news consumption on the platform is rapidly increasing.