COLUMBIA — Millennials, adults age 18 to 34, make up a quarter of the U.S. population and are now a bigger group than baby boomers. That means that as the 2016 elections creep nearer, millennials are poised to serve a more prominent role.

"The future of local politics is really dependent on these people," said Esther Thorson, director of research at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and associate dean of graduate students at the School of Journalism.

Millennials, however, have displayed some disturbing qualities, such as not being very interested or involved in politics, especially local politics, Thorson said. Among their greatest qualities, on the other hand, are that millennials are fantastic with digital and social networking and are very sophisticated with their phones and social media, she said.

That prompts the question of how to better engage millennials in politics.

The Reynolds Journalism Institute and MU's Political Communication Institute are co-hosting a forum at 7 p.m. Thursday on how to reach millennial voters through social media and mobile devices. The forum will be at the journalism institute's Fred W. Smith Forum.

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