A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site's primary goal is to inspire young people of voting age to vote and become politically active. There are many celebrities, such as Sheryl Crow who are featured. This might get young visitors interested in the site, but there are only a few pages on the site that would be relevant to visitors not old enough to vote. The organization's mission is "to engage and build the political power of young people in order to achieve progressive change in our country," and both the organization and the site and appear to have a slight bias toward left-wing causes and aren't entirely nonpartisan.
What's it about?
The Rock the Vote (RTV) organization began nearly 30 years ago as a campaign to get youth to be more politically active. The idea was to use pop culture and celebrities as tools to engage young voters in the political process. One of the main goals is voter registration, particularly in the 18-to-30-year-old demographic, which is a big push on this site. There are links to YouTube videos, photos from RTV action campaigns, an artists page, and a blog about the campaign trail.
Is it any good?
Vote! That's the simple message of ROCKTHEVOTE.ORG. The site is stocked with useful advice for first-time voters and those who might not be registered yet. If nothing else, RTV has utilized the Internet to make the process of voter registration simple and painless. Throw in popular musicians, some hip production effects, and a cool motif and you've got a site that's geared directly to its young target audience.
The site could do a better job at providing well-rounded information about issues and political figures, but perhaps keeping the focus solely on the voting is a deliberate step to not overwhelm people with information. Also, the political affiliation of the organization is a bit blurry. Categorized as nonpartisan and nonprofit, the site doesn't appear to attempt impartiality, leaning slightly toward liberal "progressive" causes, with a photo of Michelle Obama on the blog site (but no mention of the Republican campaign) and negative information on Iraq War casualties without information on positive results of the war which could alienate some potential voters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why celebrities are used to inspire people to vote. Does it make you see voting in a different way if one of your favorite singers is urging you to vote? Why do you think young people need a site like this? What issues do you think are particularly important to young people?
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