Editorial: The importance of consuming news


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Editorial Board

Today is News Engagement Day and the Editorial Board would like to take this opportunity to discuss the importance of the relationship between media organizations like the Daily and the public.

Our nation was founded with the idea that healthy and rigorous debates in public settings improve our communities. Media outlets, whether in print, on television or online, act as a common area where various opinions and ideas can be shared.

This eventually leads to greater public discourse where the virtues of our culture and policies can be evaluated. Indeed, it would be impossible to uphold our democratic values and republic government without the personal freedoms of speech and press.

Everyone is affected by the news media whether you consume it on a regular basis by reading, watching or listening to reports or not. Free press has been described as the fourth unofficial check and balance for our government —making sure our elected officials are held accountable and our electorate is well informed.

Public support for congress is low, but reelection rates of congressmen and women are high. Similarly, public trust in our media institutions as a whole is at an all-time low, although most people believe that the media they get their information from is accurate.

This is problematic as people can find themselves in “echo-chambers” where new ideas and diverse perspectives are excluded. It will be uncomfortable. You will encounter articles that you disagree with and points of view that challenge you. This is where growth and understanding can take place and a debate progresses.

This doesn’t mean blindingly accepting published materials as fact. Rather, it means holding news organizations accountable by engaging with them. Join the public discourse by synthesizing news and writing letters to the editor or simply discussing current events with friends and family.

So, let’s use today as an opportunity to personally evaluate our media consumption. Read a story from a point of view that you disagree with and enter a discussion with classmates or friends about the topic.