Mic

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Mic Website Poster Image
Teen-centric news coverage includes some edgy topics.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

Posts endorse human-rights issues, highlight social causes.

Violence

Posts don't generally contain graphic images.

Sex

Most stories mention sex in a factual way; some include links to sites featuring amateur porn clips, other adult fare.

Language

Some posts feature words such as "s--t," "f--k."

Consumerism

Ads -- referred to as partner messages -- appear on many pages.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Posts mostly report on legalization and other news-related topics, instead of endorsing alcohol, drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mic is a news site that tries to provide commentary and information on the latest news, frequently with eye-catching or potentially controversial headlines. The content doesn't usually show graphic images, even if it covers news about violent topics. Similarly, it will cover sexual topics in a factual way, but some links within these articles may point to amateur porn clips or adult content. There are some drug and alcohol references, but these are usually tied to news of the day or legalization topics instead of substance use promotion. Other posts have frequent use of profanity such as "s--t" and "f--k." Ads also appear on many pages, frequently called "partner messages" by the site.

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What's it about?

MIC was created in 2011 to provide meaty, thought-provoking news for millennials. The site's sections include policy, news, world, identities, connections, tech, science, arts, and music. Many posts feature nontraditional, conversational headlines written to grab readers' attention and a fairly opinionated stance. A recent piece on a public figure's controversial statements, for example, says he "made one very big mistake." Many posts feature several photos or videos, and users are frequently encouraged to share items on social media.

Is it any good?

This youth-focused site tries to present an opinionated take on current events, but some topics or articles can be cringeworthy. Mic isn't CNN; the wording in many posts makes it pretty clear how the author feels about the topic, and the coverage tends to focus on several key areas that would be of interest to millennials. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. The site explains topics well, providing an ample amount of background, and its chatty tone should resonate with teens who are looking for a relatable news outlet.

But parents may feel some subjects are too adult for their kids -- a post on a bank closing porn stars' accounts is fairly innocent, for example, but it includes links to adult sites that are mentioned in the story. Other posts mention violence and world events that might disturb younger kids, and, due to the conversational tone, profanity sometimes appear in posts. As such, it's probably best that older teens -- potentially kids who are closing in on 18 -- are the ones who step up to the Mic, instead of younger users.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how some news stories may frustrate your child or may inspire another strong reaction. Read a few posts and ask your child: How does that make you feel?

  • Mic's posts sometimes feature a bit of an opinion, so compare them to newspaper articles and discuss the differences. Which words does each medium use to describe events?

Website details

For kids who love news

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