Informed media consumption is essential to everday life

Image By: Katie Scheidt and Katie Scheidt

Recently it seems like more and more events happening in the news are connected with each other. Of course Jennifer Aniston flying to New York to get away from Los Angeles has a direct correlation to the heartbreaking split of celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. But one can also see the relationship between the case of rapist Brock Turner and the portrayal of women in the media or another example would be the mall shooting in St. Cloud, Minn., and the recent Washington state mall shooting. 

While one could choose to ignore the ties that connect news story to news story, it is necessary for one to see the woven strings that unite stories to understand what the most important issue is.  I’m not alluding that all events of the world can be connected together to create one of those Pinterest nail string art crafts (which never turn out like the pictures), but I am saying that there are some things happening in the world right now that are bound together for a reason. And we, as Americans and as intellectual beings, are forgetting to see the importance of these events.

It has become the norm for individuals to post and share their opinions on Facebook along with the newest article of the outlet they follow. While it is important to remain updated on the events happening throughout the world, realizing why these events are happening is not stressed enough. So continue to post the videos explaining how Donald Trump is a better candidate or how marijuana will help students focus in lecture, but don’t forget to include why these events are important and how they connect to other events. More importantly, how do they connect to our lives?

Every day thousands of events happen around the world, and it can seem hard to read every news source’s take on why these events should be noticed. As a college student balancing school with social life and work, along with everything else, it can be hard to set time aside to read each 500-word news story. On top of that, it can be hard to reflect how the event might impact your life. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the “collegiate bubble”—meaning, you stop paying attention to everything outside your college town—but what is happening outside in the world is what is going to impact us tomorrow, a week from now and even years from now. By being an active citizen, one must try to make the connections to see how they fit into the world but also how the world fits together.

By becoming more informed media consumers we are able to draw conclusions in our own lives. Maybe after reading about the election you are able to bring more to the table in your political science discussion class; or by perusing the business section you can make a better decision of which new cell phone to buy. It can be such a small difference such as being able to talk about something more than “who made out with who” at a party and instead questioning whether athletes should be able to stand while the national anthem is played.

I’m not saying that one should invest in a subscription to every news source from The Capital Times to The New York Times, but I am saying that as educated students of UW-Madison, we should keep track of trends in the news to become a well-informed generation and stronger, more valuable citizens.

Lilly is a junior majoring in journalism and communication arts. Do you agree that people need to be more informed media consumers? Send all comments and concerns to opinion@dailycardinal.com. 

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