Keep yourself informed

Story by Rita Fay, Staff Writer

There was a short period this past summer when all I did was drink coffee and watch the news. I don’t mean I would wake up and drink a lot of coffee and watch the news for a long time and then go out and have a life. No matter what time of day it was, I was drinking coffee and watching the news. Throw a cat on my lap and the image speaks for itself.

After a few weeks I realized I needed to stop. I was pale and most likely  un-showered, but at least I was informed. This is something I think all citizens should be.

There are two top reasons people give why they don’t watch the news or read the newspaper. One, they don’t have time or two, it’s too depressing.

Let’s tackle the first reason. It is true that reading a newspaper takes time. I set aside at least an hour and a half to read the newspaper, and there are some days I just don’t get the time, so I understand. However, the local nightly newscast is only 30 minutes long, and you can multitask while watching it! Make dinner, do a discussion on D2L, or spend some quality time with your roommate.

Also, the Internet is a magical thing these days. You can go to any news website you wish and find stories that interest you, without getting any ink on your hands in the process. It’s also simple enough to download an app to make keeping up with the news simple and easy.

Now onto the second reason. Can I be honest with everyone? This answer makes me a little angry. I understand the news is sad and depressing, but that’s the reason we should be watching it. Be informed and be aware of how people are being treated, the crimes people are committing, and the opinions others are forming. It affects you in some way.

Those stories that depress you so much? You only have to hear about them. Imagine the people living them. The least you can do is take the time to listen, and the most you can do is take action.

If something depresses you that much, then be proactive about it. If you think our current politics are misrepresented, then inform yourself and vote smart. If you find that a certain crime or social injustice stirs your emotions, then raise awareness about it. If you agree or disagree with the opinion a person is sharing then start a conversation about it with your friends, classmates or parents.

I’m not saying you need to watch every news channel and read every newspaper available. You only need to choose one. Have a basic understanding of what is happening outside of your home state. There is a whole world out there and a lot to learn about.

If nothing else, the stories will give you some great conversation starters.  And after you digest all of the depressing news stories, you can go to and hopefully feel a little bit better.