1/11/14

Why No News is Bad News: A Case for Becoming News Savvy

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

Knowledge is power. Following the news is no exception.

Every morning I wake up, brew a cup of coffee, and turn on the morning news. I'll flip back and forth between local stations, Good Morning America, CNN, LIVE with Kelly and Michael, and TODAY. You name it, I probably watch it. Throughout the day, I'll even keep tabs on breaking news via Twitter, e-mail, and my Facebook newsfeed.

Why this affinity for the news? Because I think it is important. As a young woman, college student, and global citizen I believe it is my responsibility to keep up-to-date on important breaking topics. Nothing is worse than being at your family's dinner table, a lecture, party, etc. and not have something interesting to contribute to a conversation regarding the world around you. Nobody can save you from this fate but yourself. So, find your drive to become news savvy. 

As a young intellectual, you should do your part in following the news. Yes, a lot of news stories cover depressing tragedies, wars, and epidemics. But don't let the possibility of disheartening news keep you from staying informed. News stories also feature humorous, joyful, and inspiring stories. More importantly, news outlets discuss content having to do with your life. 

News covers groundbreaking legislations, your civil rights, college education, local leaders, hometown, friends, and family. For these reasons alone, you should invest a portion of your daily routine to become news savvy. Do it to increase your intellectuality, your local and global awarenesses, but most importantly, for you

How do you become news savvy?

1. Watch the morning news
Turn on your T.V. and flip to your local or nationally-based news outlet. You can multitask by making breakfast, doing your makeup, cleaning your home, whatever. Just turn your T.V. on. By listening to a newscaster's voice in the background while you follow your regular morning routine, you will begin engaging in other communities besides the one you live and work in on a daily basis. Trust me, you'll appreciate branching out your morning routine, and learning something new along the way.

2. Start using your Twitter account
First, sign up for a Twitter account. Follow various news-based Twitter feeds and read their 140 character news blurbs on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. It couldn't be easier. 
Here are some of my favorite Twitter accounts to get my daily dose of news from:

3. Make Yahoo your homepage
Go to your internet browser's settings and change your homepage to: www.yahoo.com. Yahoo has an awesome pictorially-based news reel that makes keeping up with the news feel like turning the pages of a flip book. By making Yahoo your homepage, you guarantee your exposure to relevant news for at least five minutes a day whenever you go online. Yahoo's visually interesting, fun, and informative platform will make you news savvy in a hurry.  

4. Sign up for TheSkimm
TheSkimm is a daily e-mail newsletter that simplifies the headlines for the educated professional who knows enough to know she needs more. TheSkimm does the reading for you- across subject and party lines- and breaks the news down with fresh editorial content. Founded by two women in their 20s who found themselves wanting to become more news-savvy but lacking the time to do so, TheSkimm e-mails you daily, digestible news content. Sign up and start skimming!

Remember, no news is bad news. Challenge yourself to become news savvy today.

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