It’s no wonder students today look for news in sources that aren’t traditional print newspapers. Online media is cheaper, faster and more accessible. But traditional newspapers give readers something that other news sources cannot: current and relevant events next to each other in one place.
In my introduction to news writing course, my professor requires us to read the print edition of The Washington Post four days a week. While doing this has made me a stronger journalist because I can identify news articles’ structure, I have also learned more about local, international and political news as well as the value behind reading traditional print newspapers.
Like many of my peers, I used to only use social media to keep up with news. But because we get to choose who we follow on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, we often only see the content we are interested in. The news on social media doesn’t offer what traditional newspapers do. Traditional papers force readers to flip through pages of information about your local area, and topics that might not be as personally interesting.
While the relatively recent news feature on Snapchat offers some reputable news sources, and while Facebook and Twitter will occasionally link users to well-known news organizations, viewers don’t get as well-fact-checked stories. In some of these cases, news online can be totally fake. The Comet Ping Pong “Pizzagate” story is just one of the many fake news stories that people got a hold of on social media platforms. This news story ultimately turned out to be false, but people believed it because social media often reports unreliable news. Students need to start focusing their attention on relevant, reliable stories that affect them.
Students across the country should stop relying on social media to obtain news and should instead start opening newspapers. Taking 15 minutes a day to browse the front page and local section of a newspaper can open your eyes to news relevant to you and your community. Flipping through Snapchat’s news feature might be entertaining, but the news may not inform us about things happening around us.
In today’s world, young adults, especially college students, are overwhelmed with classwork and extracurriculars that they feel like they don’t have time to sit down and read the newspaper. But we are relying too much on social media platforms to get our news, just because it’s easy to scroll through social media while walking down the street or sitting in class. It’s time we crack open one of those traditional newspapers that tell us news like it is and that inform us about what’s really happening.
Christina DeBartolomeo, a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication, is a Hatchet opinions writer. Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.