Students find new, interesting ways to stay informed

An+easy+way+for+students+to+stay+updated+with+current+news+is+to+pick+up+newspapers%2C+like+The+Daily+Illini%2C+that+are+available+around+campus.+

Jacob Singleton

An easy way for students to stay updated with current news is to pick up newspapers, like The Daily Illini, that are available around campus.

By Mary Kate Kiley, Staff writer

No news is not “good news” for students on campus looking to be informed.

For world news updates, political breakthroughs or simply pop culture information, students are able to stay in the know with the versatility of phones and the web.

Staying up to date can be challenging for students. Being on campus can create a sort of bubble, where students pay little attention to current events, do their school work and focus on themselves.

Many students living in apartments opt to pay for only a wifi package rather than both cable and wifi to save money. Some universities like Notre Dame have deals with Xfinity cable service that provides all students living in dorms and on-campus apartments with cable.

With social media adopting new ways to inform their users, students are finding that news can be more readily available. Apps and websites send notifications to phones or laptops when news organizations receive breaking news on important issues.

Rolando Alvarado, freshman in Business, said he stays informed through Facebook but keeps in mind that sources must be reputable in order to avoid fake news.

“My main source is Facebook newsfeed — reputable sources though. Ideally, I would read straight from websites like The New York Times or Chicago Sun-Times because it goes more in detail on the news,” Alvarado said. 

Sarah Spiewak, senior in LAS, uses The Skimm for her news.

The Skimm provides a brief email containing both world and national news to subscribers and gives an overview of important events. Spiewak said this email provides her a briefing in the morning to start her day.

“For me, it’s a really quick and easy read to start my day, and it provides a pretty neutral view,” Spiewak said.

Staying up to date means more than just following the news.

Events happening around campus also require advertising and publicity for students to attend. Facebook creates opportunities for students to learn what events are happening around campus and in Champaign or Urbana as well.

More traditional ways are through email and word of mouth, which Alvarado said is how he learns about on campus events.

“I feel like people usually tell each other about news and then they stay informed by doing more research on their own,” Alvarado said.

Spiewak believes students get news through their surroundings and the groups of people they are around.

“I think it’s all about groups. Some will have a specific view, and even some classes on campus have different views,” Spiewak said. “Where the person is surrounded is how I think a lot of people get their news.” 

Concerning campus happenings, Spiewak said she often gets emails from LAS and campus administration about current events, though this could be improved for students.

“I’ll read emails from LAS for news or from the vice president or chancellor to stay updated,” Spiewak said. “A lot of people browse through it. It’s a long letter, and it’s not applicable. There definitely could be a  better way with the administration to make news more available and easy to access,” she said.

Fake news, which has been a rising issue in journalism today, can be avoided but requires the public to have skepticism and dig deeper for facts. Spiewak said it takes more effort on the reader’s behalf to get the truth.  

“I definitely don’t go on Facebook or draw conclusions. I fact check on different sites and articles that are reliable. It takes extra effort to know what’s real,” Spiewak said.

Sports can also be a challenge to stay up to date on if students do not have cable. Other ways to stay informed with sports are through live updates on sports websites or simply going out to catch the game on television at a bar or restaurant.

Calvin Pelletier, junior in Engineering, said his friends often live stream sports when they want to watch a football or basketball game.

Pelletier said he thinks most people will find a news source that backs up their beliefs.

“I think, with the internet, it’s easy to find a specific news source toward what you are interested in and also geared toward your viewpoint,” he said.

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