by Cheyenne Mathews
The DYW platform of Be Your Best Self has several planks: Be Healthy, Ambitious, Involved, Responsible, and Studious. Today I think it is important to talk about what it means to be involved, not just at a local community level, but also on an national and international level. A large part of being involved is being informed and actually understanding what is going on in current affairs. I’ll be completely honest and say one of the reasons I believe staying on top of current events is so important is because I am a journalism major, and I think that there are five really good ways anyone can keep up to date and informed on current events.
Podcasts are really in style right now as a form of consuming news. There are many news related podcasts that are fun to listen to while I get ready for school or walk to work. Some of my favorite go to news podcast recommendations are the BBC’s The World This Week, Freakonomics Radio, the NPR Politics Podcast, and The Economist: Tasting menu. All of these podcasts will give you a great primer to news that is fun and easy to listen to. These examples are just recommendations to get you started; for sure there are many other really interesting Podcasts to listen to that you should feel free to explore on your own.
There are plenty of ways for poor college students to get their hands on a tangible or digital newspaper. Many of the well established newspapers offer student discounts, and most college libraries have copies of local papers as well as a New York Times or Wall Street Journal subscription that students are free to use. I understand that newspapers are long, but if you can make time for even just the front page of a large publication daily you will be so impressively informed.
Most of my friends like to use Twitter or Facebook to get their daily dose of current events, but I will caution against using just those social media platforms for reliable news. In fact, Facebook has been in the actual news a lot lately for having fake news shared on their app that is mistaken has credible news. Facebook also uses algorithms that show you ‘click bait’ or questionable ‘news’ that gets clicks but is not very accurate or substantive. Instead go straight to the actual news sources and download their free apps. CNN, FOX, BBC, and many other news companies have apps that will send you push notifications whenever something important happens, so you can be sure you will always be up to date and informed about world events.
Snapchat is a fun and accessible way to digest news on the go. The subscribe options on the APP allow you to subscribe to different news companies through the app to get short, cute packaged news.
Late night comedy shows are generally fun to watch but should only be used as a supplement to other news consumption, best paired with a newspaper. Good examples of late night comedy are shows like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah or another example of an opinion type show is Final Thoughts with Tomi Lahren. While these shows can be easy and fun to watch you just have to be careful to realize that they are opinion pieces that talk about current events but that they are in no way objective news sources. It’s always good to remember that being an involved person means trying to understand multiple viewpoints and not just reaffirming your own with opinion pieces that lean one way of the other.
This is one of my personal favorite ways to stay current. theSkimm is a news site that sends a daily news briefing to its email subscribers about what happened the day before and why it’s important. theSkimm is a sassy and short run through of all the news you need to know for the day and gives you hyperlinks within it’s email to allow its readers to get more depth on any of the issues they are Skimming.
More than anything else, it is important to be involved in our local, state, national, and international community and there is no better way to do that than staying up to date on current events. You can’t be your best self if you are not informed enough to be involved and make decisions within your community that affect you and your peers. Staying relevant can be a time consuming endeavor, but even if you spend those few minutes reading theSkimm while you are eating breakfast, you are going to be so much better off facing the problems that shake the world you will one day be a contributor running.