Five Minutes With… Amanda Gurruchaga

Resource type: Podcast

Recorded at our recent Dis/Mis-information and Young People workshop, we caught up with Amanda Gurruchaga, Head of Programmes at Shout Out UK, to find out what she thinks the most important conversations we can be having today are. The conversation explores the use of social media and how young people should be put front and centre of those discussions.

If you would like to explore more on the topic of disinformation, we also spoke to Alex Brocklehurst from Full Fact, the UK’s independent fact checking authority. You can listen to Alex talking about these issues and tactics that can be employed to help combat the spread of disinformation here: Five Minutes With… Alex Brocklehurst

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If you want to find out more about the work of Cumberland Lodge, find out more here.

The views expressed in these podcasts are those of the speakers and not necessarily reflect those of Cumberland Lodge.

Episode transcript

00:00 – 00:28

Jack Verduyn (JV)

What are the most important conversations we need to be having today? And how can young people contribute to these conversations? These are the questions we ask our guests to answer in Five Minutes With… At our recent Dis/Mis-information and Young People workshop, we spoke to Amanda Gurruchaga from Shout Out UK about the use of social media and how young people should be at the forefront of any conversations or campaigns about it.

00:28 – 00:53

Amanda Gurruchaga (AG)

So I think with young people, we should absolutely be having a conversation around social media and how we use social media. I think because it’s such a massive part of young people’s lives, you know, it’s almost like six hours ish on average a day that young people are spending using these apps. There’s not really been a space where they are able to have those conversations outside of their own kind of bedrooms, and potentially like conversations with friends.

00:53 – 01:13


And I think there’s been a real kind of shift in the way that people are using these different social media apps. And when we consider the kind of implications of echo chambers, algorithms, and how that might affect political engagement, how that might affect body image, how that might affect all kind of aspects, interpersonal relationships, all kind of aspects of their lives.

01:13 – 01:31


I think it’s really important that this becomes a kind of part of the wider conversation that we’re having. And a lot of the times there isn’t really that space within schools. Apart from a bit of like generic advice of don’t follow people that you don’t know, don’t, you know, block accounts, that kind of generic advice, which actually isn’t that helpful, I think.

01:31 – 01:56


We need to be more specific with what we’re talking about. We need to be more current and up to date, which is a real challenge because things are moving so quickly. But I think that is essential, really to to having meaningful conversations around the kind of content that people are engaging with and how best they can navigate such a complicated, like onslaught of, of content that they’re coming across.

01:56 – 02:15


So I think part of the problem with how we engage young people is that we often just tell them, and that I think is the crux of the issue. You know, it’s a lot of the time, it’s it’s coming from people who realistically aren’t using social media as much as they are, telling them about things that they don’t really know about personally.

02:15 – 02:58


And almost kind of delivering a oftentimes, like redundant message of things that the young people already know. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a helpful thing to be doing. So I think having young people at the forefront of those conversations, asking questions as well of them, of how they’re using it, looking at actual relevant examples, data if it’s necessary, and using young people as a kind of co-creation partner of some of these conversations, I think is the fundamental thing, because I think at the moment what’s happening is that all these conversations are happening almost like behind closed doors, and then we’re coming up with schemes and different things and campaigns that are gonna then

02:58 – 03:16


help young people, supposedly, but without having them really at the forefront of that. And it should be really being led by young people with the help of others. So I think that’s generally how you’d help engage young people by making them at the centre and the forefront of all this work.

03:16 – 03:40


If you want to find out more about this topic, we also spoke to Alex Brocklehurst from Full Fact, the UK’s independent fact checking organisation, at the Dis/Mis-information and Young People workshop. Alex explored the potential impacts of mis and disinformation in an election year, and techniques that can be used to spot misinformation. You can listen to this on major podcast platforms or on the resources page of our website.

03:40 – 04:01


You can keep up to date with all the work of Cumberland Lodge on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook @CumberlandLodge or on our website Thank you again to Amanda for joining us and thanks for listening.