We all attempt to have our own weekly schedules in such a complicated time as college. Part of my weekly schedule is staying informed and up-to-date on current events. I enjoy the occasional CNN broadcast, The New York Times and even our own campus paper.
I’ve discussed the importance of staying informed in past columns, and I’m going to use my weekly opportunity to preach about staying informed yet again.
But a lot of students really struggle with it. Part of the problem today is “news fatigue.” We all receive so much information from all of our various forms of media that we get overwhelmed, stressed and depressed.
This problem must be solved. Our ability to stay informed is vital to our lives as students, adults and Americans.
I agree with the argument that the news is boring and can be depressing. This is especially the case with local news. Yet, there remains another avenue that many students don’t think of—satiric news.
I’m talking about The Tonight Show, Real Time with Bill Maher, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Saturday Night Live, and others. Admittedly, these shows tend to lean on the political left, opinion-wise, but learning while laughing is a great way to retain facts.
Personally, I prefer Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Real Time with Bill Maher. While the others are great, I really prefer these two hosts for one reason—they use critical analysis when informing the who, what, when, where, why, and how. When watching, I’m laughing along, as well as getting an education about the issues and learning what I can do to make a change.
It’s not my job to advertise for these shows, but it is my job to make an argument. So, my argument is this: we are a generation of short attention spans. We don’t like to watch the news because we’re not laughing or being sold anything.
Ohio State University did a study in which people who watched satiric news were more interested in politics, according to Science Daily. A University of Pennsylvania study showed that viewers of satiric news are more likely to retain information than any other type of news viewer, according to Techdirt.
Lastly, it’s important to know what are incorrect ways to stay informed. Try to steer clear of Facebook news shared by those crazy relatives you hardly know.
Make sure your sources are credible. And remember that watching Fox News or MSNBC is likely to make you less informed than people who watch no news at all, according to Business Insider. But, otherwise, stay informed.