Somehow I survived without ever watching the news before college. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. Sometimes I watched the news… but not as much as the average American (which I’m sure is still not enough). I mean, occasionally I would hear Fox 9’s nightly newscast in the background while finishing my homework or click on a headline story online, but for some reason I never took the initiative to really keep up with current events. Sometimes my classmates would be talking about something, and I felt like I was always the last one to know.
Yet, somehow I am now a journalist… or at least, an aspiring journalist. Now, I crave the news. I’m constantly surrounded by the news. I made it my goal to no longer be the last to know. Honestly, one of my motivations for studying journalism was probably my insane curiosity, impatience and desperate need to be the first to know what’s happening.
Now that I’m a sophomore, I’ve started to get the hang of keeping with with current events — checking Twitter daily, watching the news some mornings, glancing at the newspaper or sitting down to read it if I take the time, searching the top news sites for headlines, and even just listening to what people are talking about. I remember how frustrating and overwhelming it was as a freshman, being expected to always know what was happening in the world. Growing up, my family didn’t really watch the news nor did we discuss current events. So, I had to play catch up and make it a habit to pay attention to the news.
When I realized that all these other journalism students knew more than me, I felt incredibly naive and ignorant. It was slightly embarrassing. So, I downloaded every news app to my itouch that I could think of and I make an effort every day to learn something new.
Getting involved with KCOU really gave me the exposure I needed. Reporting on a story once a week forced me to quickly learn about all the happenings on campus and build a habit of always looking for a story. When I became an anchor, I needed to summarize the latest local, state, national and world news into an hour show. That experience at the radio station gave me a huge boost and put me on track as a news-conscious journalist.
After reading this article by Pew Research Center, it seems the average American may be worse off than I thought when it comes to knowing current events. How do we make people care about the news? Suggestions???