Telegenic and media-savvy is one way to describe David Hogg, a lean and dark-haired senior at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

But maybe a better way is this: Change agent.

And what could be more sorely needed than a change agent right now? Because the mass shootings in United States have become a horror of repetition in which meaningful change has come to seem impossible.

Enter Hogg. The 17-year-old is the school's student news director, who not only interviewed his fellow students during the horrific massacre at his school on Thursday, but then spoke with passion to national media figures, providing footage that has now circled the globe.


In a level gaze directly into CNN's camera, Hogg called out politicians for their hapless dithering.

"We're children. You guys are the adults. ... Work together, come over your politics and get something done," Hogg said.

Hogg wasn't the only teenage survivor who demonstrated thoughtfulness and poise since the shooting.

Emma Gonzalez spoke to TV news programmes over the weekend and gave a rousing speech on Friday when she told politicians who took money from the National Rifle Association, "Shame on You."

And when CBS' Jeff Glor interviewed Douglas High students on his evening news show on Friday, their quiet strength was remarkable.

They didn't, of course, all have the same message. Two of the students Glor interviewed made the too-familiar case that it is too soon to be entering into political conversations. Another argued for greater gun control. One simply wanted to remind viewers to express love to their family and friends while they can.

But what ties them together is their command of the visual medium and their powerful composure amid the worst kind of tragedy.

This seems all the more notable because they are teenagers.

But, in fact, it's probably their very youth, and the all-digital world of social media - the water they've always swum in - that makes it possible.

This is the YouTube, the Instagram, the Snapchat generation.

Communicating immediately and effectively is second nature. Even in their pain and fear - no, especially in their pain and fear - they knew what to do.

"They showed not only a familiarity with social media but a remarkable ability to cover the events happening in their own lives," David Clinch, global news editor at Storyful, said.

That, Clinch said, "gives me some encouragement that this generation is not just able to understand and communicate about what is happening around them but is also putting themselves in a position to control the narrative and make a difference in their own futures."

Students are demanding a more meaningful conversation on gun regulation, Robert Runcie, superintendent of the Broward County schools, acknowledged at a news conference on Friday. "I hope we can get it done in this generation," he said. "But if we don't, they will."

The passion, intelligence and credibility of the Douglas High survivors is not going to go away.

"I will not feel hopeful until a majority of Americans are out on the streets demanding change," Hogg said on Saturday.

His message to politicians is simple: "Instead of condolences, give us action. There is something seriously wrong here." Hogg noted that he and his contemporaries make up the first post-9/11 generation. They also are the first to be immersed in digital culture from early childhood, and to understand at a gut level its full potential.

"Using these tools," he said, "is what our generation should be known for."