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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, March 02, 2024
Satirical news shows such as John Oliver offer a funny yet partisan take on current events.

Satirical news shows such as John Oliver offer a funny yet partisan take on current events.

Millennials should seek balanced news coverage

In today’s media world, the news can often be intimidating, dense and boring. If readers don’t make it a point to constantly stay up-to-date, they can feel lost in the swamp of names, places and events. This fear of reading the news is the beginning of a vicious cycle where people remain uninformed about current events because they fear it is too hard to understand, or too much work to remain in the know.

According to the American Press Institution, 85 percent of millennials report that it is important for them to be up-to-date on the news. However, only 40 percent report that they pay for a specific news subscription. The way news is being consumed and delivered to younger generations is massively different from the way our parents or grandparents get their news. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 24 percent of homes in America no longer have cable television, and 16 percent of young adults under the age of 30 have never paid for cable, relying exclusively on paid streaming services and free online entertainment. 

Many mainstream news sources, such as the New York Times, make it a point to remain as impartial as possible in their reporting. However,  not all millennials rely on them for the news because it is not easily accessible. News subscriptions cost money, and this cost can be a barrier for youth. As a result, we millennials often get our news from free sources. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials report that Facebook is their primary source of political news. 

But how does the medium we use affect the quality of news we consume? Well, this topic is debatable. When people get their news from social media, it is usually shared by their friends or news outlets they have specifically chosen to follow. Facebook’s media ecosystem therefore allows us to create a very insular, narrow scope of opinions and content we consume. By subconsciously sheltering ourselves from media or news that doesn’t necessarily align with our views, we millennials are running the risk of being uninformed. We only know the side of the story that we choose to read or follow.

The same can be said about the multimedia news we consume. News programs such as “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah or “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver provide viewers with political and other news commentary in a funny and bite-sized format. While these shows do erase a lot of the fear and intimidation many people feel when it comes to covering heavy news topics, it could also cheapen the content of the news they are consuming. They do not painstakingly attempt to erase any visible bias from their content like many major and respected newspapers, but instead flaunt their opinion and incorporate it into their coverage. 

These programs are famously left-leaning in their reporting and it is clear from the content they choose to cover. Their segments often go viral on social media, with Oliver’s famous episode about Donald Trump where he urged his viewers to #MakeDonaldDrumpAgain boasting an impressive view count of just under 29 million on YouTube. While it is important to be involved and informed about current events, relying on these sources alone for news is putting millennials in a place where they are only seeing their side of the story.

We also cannot exclusively rely on news that is easy or fun to consume. For example, I never see any articles praising Donald Trump while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed; however, he routed his competition in the primaries and is currently blazing a potential trail to the White House. In order to be able to hold your own while debating current events with others, you should know both sides of the argument. 

Samantha is a sophomore majoring in journalism and communication arts. How important is it to you to keep up-to-date with current events? Do you try to seek out news that doesn’t align with your personal views?  Please send all questions, comments and concerns to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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