Unity College Students as News Consumers

Photo Credit: Unity College

In a time of social media and viral videos, college students don’t flip open their newspapers or turn the television anymore to get their information. Newspapers are a dying art and cable is becoming more and more obsolete every year. College students, equipped with laptops and smartphones, mainly turn to the internet to get their news. Unity College students are no different and even though they all get different news and use different sites, they all use the internet to keep informed on the issues.

Young adults are less interested in getting the news than older generations. According to a study done by Pew Research Center, not only are young adults less likely to get the news from newspapers and television, they are also less interested in the news overall and are less likely to discuss it. Jen, a Wildlife Biology Senior, says that she doesn’t specifically go online to check the news. If she does, she will google the specific story that she is looking for or visit the New York Times website to find an article.

“My habits are to see what is trending in sports and what Philip DeFranco is reporting on today.” — Andrew

Photo: American Press Institute

Some students are more likely to use social media as a news source than others. Andrew, a Conservation Law Enforcement Junior, uses YouTube to get his news. He feels that it is important to get both sides of the issue when it comes to news. Every other day, Andrew will watch Philip DeFranco because he finds it to be a reliable and well-rounded source. Even with frequent visits to news YouTube channels, Andrew doesn’t go out in search of more. He says, “My habits are to see what is trending in sports and what Philip DeFranco is reporting on today.” That is pretty common for a lot of students.

Some students have a different approach to news and online journalism. Caitlyn, a Environmental Law and Policy Junior, says “If I am looking for news online I check multiple multiple sources, The Guardian, the New York Times, CNN Online, BBC online, to name a few.” If she does come across news on social media, she looks at it more as entertainment than facts. Shes aware that much of the information online may not have much reliability. In a study done by Pew, they found similar results: young adults have less trust in the information that they find online.

“I don’t have time to do more.” — Jen

Photo: HerCampus

College, it seems, takes away from the time to look for the news. Andrew checks in with Philip DeFranco every other day. Jen will look at the national and world politics briefly but she considers her online news habits to be undeveloped or not in depth. Jen says, “I don’t have time to do more.” Caitlyn echoes the same idea. “Since coming to college I have relied less on newspapers and TV news and more on online media sources, and have expanded the sources I look at. But since classes and other issues have caught up I find that I don’t check as often as I used to”, Caitlyn said. This seems to be a trend for a lot of college students. We are gaining an education but becoming less informed.

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