Press, Media, and Social Media

The press is often called the fourth branch of government (or “fourth estate”) as it is the watchdog of the democratic process. Did the 2016 election campaign change this? Threats. Accusations of bias. Conspiracy theories. “Fake news”. Social media. 24-hour news cycle. “Muckrakers”. Has the mainstream media and the credibility of journalism been irreparably damaged? We’ll discuss the role the press and social media play today in shaping public opinion, the responsibility of journalism and the challenges it faces, and how WE can foster ‘news literacy.’

Details and Resources Coming Soon


Alejandra Oraa

Alejandra Oraa is a two-time Emmy award winning anchor and journalist for CNN en Español. Blending intelligence, charisma, and relentless positivity, she became the youngest anchor in the history of CNN at the age of 23. She is currently the host of two shows for CNN enEspañol: Café CNN, a morning news program, and Destinos, a travel and adventure show. Alejandra has won an Emmy for each program and was credited as both anchor and writer.

At the age of 18, Alejandra began her career working as a reporter for TV Azteca in Miami. In 2009, Alejandra became a host for one of Miami’s top Spanish-language radio stations: Romance 106.7FM. During that time, Oraa was known as “the voice” behind international campaigns for HBO, Ford, McDonald’s, Marshalls, among others.

In addition to her duties at CNN, Alejandra serves as a Good Will Ambassador for the United Nations. Through the UNAIDS program in Latin American and the Caribbean, Alejandra promotes awareness of HIV-related human rights issues among women and youth. She also represents South America at the UN in “The Global Journalist Corps”, an exclusive program for a carefully selected group of high- level journalists, lending their voices and insights and serving as advisors for the organization.

Born in Vargas, Venezuela, Alejandra has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications from St. Thomas University. She is fluent in Spanish and English and is currently based in Atlanta, Georgia.


Roosevelt House, NY
January 21,2018


Alejandra Oraa,
CNN Anchor and Journalist

Video of the conference


Background resources on Press

What Social Media Was Like in 1857

The Atlantic | November 1, 2017

Read the article

How is Social Media Changing Journalism?

The Atlantic | August 6, 2014

Watch the video

The companies that own the media | July 7, 2015

Read the article

Solidarity in the Fourth Estate

US News and World Report | July 7, 2017

Read the article

The fourth Estate is under Attack | December 13, 2017

Read the article

We've merged!

As of Aug 2018, Civics Unplugged has merged with Next Generation Politics and will be changing our name and migrating to . Next Gen Politics is a student-created, student-led organization that fosters civic engagement and promotes a culture of collaboration and cross-partisanship within Generation Z. Given the alignment in our missions, and the range and reach of Next Gen's 15+ chapters, we are enthusiastic to join forces.

Our mission remains the same: to equip young people to understand their rights, roles, and responsibilities and strengthen their ability to engage with people from different backgrounds, appreciate multiple perspectives, and foster civic discourse. This merger will enable our Civic Fellows in New York to be in dialogue, and develop relationships, with teens from other regions who have very different lived experiences, exposing all to a broader range of perspectives and politics.

In response to the deeply divisive time we are living in, the palpable threats to democracy and civil society, and the power and potential of young people to create change, we are thrilled to support teens in expanding their civic capacity and commitment. We look forward to continuing to build this movement with you!