What are you doing to stay informed?
So many of us high school teenagers often stay within our closed off world centering on school, extracurriculars, and family. Sometimes, the overwhelming rush of all these events in our lives makes us forget that there is an entire world around us, with critical events shaping public policy every single day.
For instance, how many of you know significant details of the latest terrorist attack in France? Much of what we hear is condensed in small tidbits of information through Twitter stories, CNN headlines, and other (primarily American) news outlets.
Is this truly the best way to acquire news?
It is important to know that when absorbing current events in the world, we take in multiple sources from a cross-cultural perspective prior to forming a definitive stance on sociopolitical or geopolitical issues.
The most prominent news outlets in America, building around ABC World News, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, and CNN each have its own inherent bias toward reporting the news. It’s well-known that Fox News leans heavily to the right side of the political spectrum, often interviewing many Republican strategists to shape their news stories. To the contrary, NBC news tends to be more liberal in its delivery of news.
The first step to gain a global perspective on news is to branch out to world news outlets. Sources such as Al Jazeera, BBC, and Sky News report on global issues much more than American outlets. Al Jazeera has stations in Qatar, Singapore, and more in an effort to report the stories that nobody covers.
Al Jazeera reports a plethora of short documentaries that focus on world issues of each type: from the spread of Trachoma in Ethiopian villages, to China’s economic boom.
BBC and Sky News are just as prominent, and deliver an outstanding quality and quantity of news, allowing citizens to become more informed.
Given the substantial opportunities to absorb and reflect on world news, the responsibility lies on you to seek out the free flow of information.
“What if I’m busy? I don’t have any time. I’d rather talk to my girl/boyfriend. I don’t care. It doesn’t affect me.”
These common excuses to be uniformed represents a choice to be ignorant. Ignorance in this situation is certainly not bliss.
Start out by just Googling “News” during those spare minutes in class when your teacher is babbling on about this and that. Then try watching the evening news programs at 6 PM on PBS on the weekdays, and branching out to more news outlets. You’ll be surprised by what you can learn in just a few minutes.
To be, or not to be ignorant. That is the question.