Journalism student finds own habits for news consumption inadequate

In every journalism class I take, I repeatedly hear how important it is to keep tabs on the news and stay as up to date as possible. So I must admit, quite sheepishly, that I do not.

Over the extended weekend, I read two news articles from the Washington Post. I also collected a handful of push notifications and perused ESPN to find updates on college football and the National Football League (NFL) preseason.

The first was about Texas' effort to recover from Hurricane Harvey while preparing for Irma, published Monday. The article noted that parts of the state were seeing their first reprieve front rescue missions since Harvey hit.

According to the article’s sources, rest is limited though, since Irma is expected to reach the U.S. as soon as Friday.

According to the Washington Post, one furniture store in Richmond, Texas is already selling furniture, despite having been used as a shelter a week ago. This creates a conflicting dynamic, with those still in need of shelter, people trying to begin their lives again and people trying to prepare for the storm to come all operating in the same space.

The second news story I read, written by Joby Warrick of the Washington Post, was about the most recent nuclear weapons tests by North Korea. The test done Sunday was the specific focus, given its timeliness and magnitude.

“The blast… produced seismic waves equivalent to a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, or 10 times as strong as the country’s last nuclear test, which occurred a year ago this week,” Warrick wrote.

One of Warrick’s sources, a former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, said that this amount of destructive power would be enough to “wipe out” a portion of a large city.

This means that should North Korea choose to use their weapons, they would be able to eradicate millions of lives in one motion. Even the atom bomb, the most destructive weapon ever put to use in conflict, was not able to have such an immediate destructive impact.

One key detail is that the weapon is believed to be a hydrogen bomb. As Warrick and his sources repeatedly note, the hydrogen bomb is more complex than the atom bomb, far more powerful and has never been used outside of testing.

While on ESPN, I read an article about the possibility of Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor recovering from a concussion. This is a matter of note for fans because the first week of the NFL season is less than a week away, but Taylor has not been cleared to play.

After he suffered a concussion during the team’s preseason game on Aug. 26, the Bills signed a new quarterback. Both Taylor, the starter, and the team’s third-string quarterback may be injured with concussions, which would leave only the second-string as an option. As a result, Buffalo signed a fourth quarterback as a last resort.

All the stories and notifications I received were on my phone. Most came via their respective apps, either the Washington Post or ESPN, but there were some push notifications from Twitter about stories that CNN or other news sources tweeted. These usually consisted of three categories, the presidency, the hurricane or North Korea.

Although I should have pursued more news, and I had access, I chose not to. I neglect articles on politics because I am sceptical and find them inherently biased, but this leaves me ill informed to create my own opinions. When it comes to local, regional or national news not of a political nature, I often lack the interest if it is not investigative or a feature.

This demonstrates my immaturity as a member and consumer of the media. By minimizing my news intake, I am limiting my dimensionality and expertise as a media member because I am less acquainted current events and the proper worrying style.