Recently, one of my professors challenged my entire class to go on a 48-hour news fast. The parameters of the fast were as follows: you are not allowed to access, read or participate in any sort of news-related subjects for 48 hours. When I first received the assignment, I thought it would be a piece of cake. I pride myself on being able to control myself, and didn’t think it would be difficult to abstain from news. However, it really was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. I say difficult only because news is so accessible now-a-days. A few hours after my class, I remembered that the Arizona Diamondbacks (my favorite baseball team) were playing the San Francisco Giants (the two teams are competing for a playoff spot). I wanted to find the score, so I switched my phone on and began to get on espn.com. Thankfully, I remembered the fast and was able to turn it off before I saw anything. “Shucks,” I thought, “how on earth am I going to find out what the score was?”
With social media (especially Twitter and Facebook) being able to link to different news sources with the click of a mouse, news has taken another jump toward ease of accessibility. On my cell phone, I merely need to slide two screens to the right to patch into my Twitter and Facebook news feed. Because I follow the Washington Post, I get constant updates on what is going on around the world. I also follow several health organizations and an espn.com commentator. I no longer need to use my computer to find something quick. Because of these recent trends, the ability to memorize is going down. Students only memorize what they have to and leave the rest up to Google.
Because of the constant need for news in real time, quality of news is going down and reporting jobs are getting scarce. Reporters don’t have as much time to get a story up. In order to stay relevant, a newspaper must have a breaking story up on its Web site in seconds. It may be good to get people quick news, but is quantity really better than quality?
I really enjoyed this experience because it allowed me to realize how dependent I am on news. Furthermore, I realized that I had been subjected to diminishing news quality over the years. I don’t know if there is a quick fix for the situation, but I hope the industry can find one soon.
About the Author
Jordan Freis is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which online courses and online schools they can choose from to reach their goals.