Windell: Students need to further engage in news consumption

Bridgette Windell

Hey, college student. Yeah, you.

First of all, thank you for actively consuming media by reading this issue of the Collegian. Now, your reasons may vary for picking up this copy. Maybe you read the newspaper for the daily crossword or Sudoku. Maybe you are reading this copy for the Strip or the “Dope or Nope” section, or maybe a friend just published an article and is forcing you to read it.

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While all these reasons are acceptable for reading today’s newspaper, they should not be your sole reason. It’s not surprising that the main purpose of newspapers and news channels is to provide news to the public — however, if people aren’t consuming the news, their efforts are useless.

With the growing popularity of social media and a digital world, it can be easy to focus all the attention on to what’s trending, but it’s important to not forget that news, breaking issues and awareness should always be more important than the latest cat video.

As college students, we are constantly learning and usually seek a break or something to distract us when we venture into the digital world, and while that time is needed, consuming news should take a greater priority.

Some students may use the excuse of being just “too busy” to read or watch the news. It takes total of 15 minutes to read the front page of the New York Times, and only five minutes to read all of the headlines. On days where I think I don’t have time to read the newspaper or watch the news, I listen to it on the bus — NPR (National Public Radio) compiles the top stories daily and arranges it into a five-minute stream called the hourly newscast.

Others may use the excuse of not having access to the news. Lucky for students of Colorado State, the University has a free readership program that carries the New York Times, Denver Post and USA Today. And guess what? All of those people handing you copies of the Collegian on the way to class are your direct access to news.

But why should you read or watch the news, you ask?

I hate to break it to you, but we are the next generation to move into the working class. Some of us will be public officials, some of us may end up being a politician and some of us may end up being the head of an NGO. Current world events inform you of the world and of topics that are directly relevant to you.

The news, especially world news, reminds us that we aren’t the only country dealing with internal issues — there’s a whole globe out there going through similar and worse conditions. As college students, we have the unique opportunity to discuss current events and engage with new issues. The more informed we are, the more we can do to actively solve issues and create more awareness around those topics.

The news transcends traditional classroom walls. When we are no longer in an educational institution, we will still have the avenue to learn through news.

So pick up a copy of the nearest newspaper, watch the morning or nightly news for a few minutes or just scan headlines. Be an educated citizen, and better yet, be a better educated student — everyone could benefit from it.

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Collegian Columnist Bridgette Windell can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @Bridgette_Rae.