A Project for Better Journalism chapter

EHS, Meet The Press

When it comes to being unaware and bubble-fied by Episcopal, I’m guilty as charged. On a weekly basis, I’ll sit down with my computer and resolve to start reading the news. I’ll groom through the New York Times and CNN on my iPhone’s trusty News app. Usually by day three of this initiative, though, my morning readings are postponed to the brief period between lunch and chapel, and then ultimately are forgotten altogether. There’s just not enough time, I tell myself. Everything’s so biased. I’d much rather wander mindlessly through Facebook’s endless reservoir of Tasty videos and “fake news.” I make countless excuses, and consequently, I’m as ignorant as it gets (ironically so as a writer for The Chronicle).

But rest assured, there is hope! In today’s day and age, fresh news sources and mediums pop up daily. Podcasts, Twitter, streamlined updates through theSkimm and other mainstream papers, amongst many others. Here at Episcopal, there are students who utilize these quick and easy news sources as ways to stay informed while balancing a busy a schedule. I need to take notes, and so do you, if you too want to be on top of Trump’s latest tweets and the most pressing political scandals.

One of the most prevalent issues with the news is the constant struggle to find unbiased content. This issue is especially pertinent given today’s uniquely polarized political environment. Trump supporters flock to Fox News and Breitbart for their daily doses of conservative rants, while on the other side of the spectrum, Democrats imbibe a steady stream of CNN and Huffington Post. There’s no balance, and thus, there’s no dialogue. Hunt Wasden, a staff writer for the Chronicle and the President of the YRC, noted that, “If you limit yourself to one source or one platform, you risk seeing only one side of the issue. You have to diversify your news intake if you wish to fully understand an event and its implications.” Hunt’s statement resonates with many of us moderates seeking objective and informative articles. David Gregory, the ex-host of Meet the Press for NBC and a current analyst for CNN, espoused similar ideas in his visit last month. Ultimately, however, he gave no concrete solution to this problem. He claimed that it’s on us citizens to weed through biased news in search of substantive material. Some news sources may be better than others—I can personally vouch for The Economist and RealClear Politics. But in the end, you have to weed nonetheless. Now, in the off chance that you are looking for a myriad of raw opinions and subjectivity, Twitter might be just for you.

Twitter—unfiltered, streamlined media crack. Despite its virtues as the peoples’ medium and its instantaneous updates, on Twitter, you won’t exactly find that same quality as with other papers, and it’s upon you to be on the lookout for that elusive “fake news.” Sam Fanning emphatically claimed, “I get all of my news from Twitter! No time to watch the news here.” Many of us here at Episcopal can relate to Sam’s statement. Twitter is fast and easy, and we have homework, and social lives, and a slew of other commitments.

Twitter, however, isn’t the only source of “digestible” news, as Olivia Tucker stated. She, like many Episcopal students, gets her news from theSkimm. Operated by “two badass women” and presented in a “very millennial way,” theSkimm is the hottest news outlet amongst high school students. In a similar fashion, major newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post have come out with their own daily updates. Every morning, these updates are sent via email, including only the most salient topics. Betches, an even more recent Skimm-esque operation, has also gained momentum lately. Frances McIntosh stated, “I subscribe to The Sup by Betches, because I want to know WTF is going on in the world. Uninformed is no longer cute.” Frances’ statement encapsulates our generations’ drive to contribute to the ongoing political debate. The news is no longer reserved for coffee-sipping old men at bus stops. We millennials are connected, and we don’t intend to stay in the dark.

Last month, students led a march on Washington to protest gun violence in schools. A common thread amidst the students’ various speeches was their desire for kids our age to be informed and to voice our opinions. Episcopal is the same. We students have a civic duty to read up on the daily scoop and to have actual opinions. I too am a work in progress. But today, news is everywhere—in our emails, phones, and on TV—and the learning curve is looking promising.