The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Citizens need stay informed by reading the news, not watching

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

When I was in high school, I had the unique opportunity to have articles in Time Magazine as part of my curriculum every week.

Sometimes the articles I was assigned to read inspired me to look further into what the topic or event the article was about, like an article I read about how the students from Parkland are leading the fight for gun control.

Others made me count the days until I got a new assignment. But all of them, whether I was interested in them or not, made me a more educated person and citizen. Most of all, it helped me realize how important it is to read the news.

I don’t mean just pay attention to the news, I mean actually read the news. Like words. On a page.

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Although watching cable news may seem more convenient and more entertaining, you have to understand that they need to find something to talk about 24 hours a day. And for the most part, it’s just people talking over each other until Don Lemon says that they have to cut to a commercial break.

Cable news is hectic, and that’s the point. If people didn’t love to watch that sort of thing they wouldn’t make money selling time for ads.

If you want to know what Donald Trump is doing today, or at this very second, you can turn on your TV and I’m sure that someone is talking about it on cable news as you read this. But, and I really hate to break it to you, there is so much more that is going on in this country than what he does.

As a young journalism student, I thought watching cable news was how you learn what was going on in our country, but its not. Did you know that a team of City College students started a clothing company to showcase unique art? Or that Airbnb announced a new project as an initiative to change how we build homes? Or, and this is real, people are still trying to find out how that Mandarin duck got to central park? Maybe that last one isn’t exactly something you need to know, but the point is there are things happening today that will most likely not have a spot on cable news, but they’re still significant.

In the past few months even City College has had a lot of controversies and successes, and what disappoints me most is that the very students who are affected by the decisions, events, and people who make it on to our newsite, have no idea that any of this is going on.

I was at an Academic Senate meeting when people were speaking out about a member of the administration and during their public comment, one person said that if any of this surprises you, you are not paying attention. I cannot agree with this more.

At this very moment there is someone on a local or national level that is doing something that will affect you, your school, your community, maybe even your livelihood, and it is so important to be aware of these things.

You don’t have to buy the newspaper every single day and spend hours absorbing everything from it in order to educate yourself, the news is a lot more convenient than you might think.

If you’re on the train to work, scroll through your preferred news site and read what interests you.

Pick up a copy of Time Magazine or the Economist while you’re waiting in line at the Pharmacy.

Have your local or student newspaper as your homepage.

Once you start taking the little steps to change your news intake, it will become a lot easier to become educated about what’s going on in the world.

I can only speak for myself, but becoming an informed citizen is a real power to behold.

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