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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

OPINION: 5 ways to stay up to date on the news

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The world is constantly changing — politically, socially and environmentally. News publication is continuous, world happenings shift by the minute and people always have opinions to share. The bombardment of news has become more profound in recent years due to technology, search engines and news apps with notifications. The news never stops, journalists never sleep and there’s always something new to learn. 

News is important and staying up to date is a must if you’re going to have a well-rounded understanding of this world. However, because news can be emotionally taxing and there’s an unrelenting amount of it being published by the minute, following the news persistently can definitely feel like a mental overload that usually ends in a spiral into despair and anxiety. Nevertheless, there are some helpful ways to consume the news without feeling like the world is falling apart and armageddon is standing at your door.  

Find a credible news source to follow

If you’re going to consume news, the most important thing you can do is make sure the news is credible. Some ways to check whether a source is credible is to ask some questions, such as who is the news source providing the information? Does the headline match the article, and does the article match the original story? There’s plenty of information out there, but not all of it is accurate. It’s important to find sources that rely on the facts, report on the real events and don’t fill the article with speculation and conspiracy that have little basis in evidence. Political bias can sometimes skew the information presented as well, which tends to influence the narrative of the story. There are helpful links available to check the political bias and reliability of a source, such as the Interactive Media Bias Chart.  

View multiple news platforms and find the full story

Making it a point to view more than one platform when following a story can be important, especially considering different platforms might present facts differently. Some news platforms are also known to be biased in some aspects, especially politically. An important skill you can use is lateral reading, which is when you verify what you’re reading by checking other sources who wrote about the same topic. A few years ago, I had to do a project on the last presidential election in 2020, and it required me to follow the news on it. I found it beneficial to view multiple sources, because not only did I find new facts on each page, but it was also a way to fact check what I had already read. Being mindful of this fact and branching out to multiple platforms can help you to understand the full story from different angles and ensure the information you’re reading is accurate. With another upcoming president election, despite most likely not having to do another project on it, I will still be using these skills as I keep up to date on it.  

Find a balance in order to protect your peace

There’s enough news being broadcast and published that you could quite literally sit on your phone all day and night reading article after article and still not get through all of it. So not only is trying to view it all nearly impossible, it’s also not emotionally sustainable. There have been times when I’ve fallen into rabbit holes of news, reading article after article of current conflicts, the climate crisis, or health updates, and I end up feeling overwhelmed and melancholic from having consumed so much information all at once. Over time, I have found balance by selecting which sections of news I want to get notifications for on the news apps I have. That way I am informed of specified genres such as breaking news and top stories, instead of getting bombarded with notifications for every article being published.  

Talk about it with others

Especially when it’s heavy news, it helps to talk about what you’ve seen with others and gain others’ perspectives. It’s a way to start a conversation with others about relevant current events. It also can help you stay up to date on things you might have missed. Often my family and I will discuss what we saw on the news that day over dinner, and it tends to spark conversations that last long past dessert. I honestly love getting to hear other people’s opinions, because even if I don’t agree with them, it still helps me to understand the mindset of people with opposing views. 

Remember, the news doesn't report everything

It’s been found that humans tend to focus more on bad news over good news, which might be what is constantly prompting the coverage of bad news, as bad news tends to dominate the headlines. There are many good things that happen in the world, though it can be easy to forget based on what's getting covered. Negative news can sometimes lead to pessimistic thinking which can worsen negative emotions. To combat this pessimistic thinking, there are sites such as The Uplift from CBS News that report on uplifting stories to inspire others. It may not be breaking news, but it gives reminders of the kindhearted things going on in the world, and it helps when you need an emotional boost.  

Staying up to date on the news is important when it comes to being a well-rounded individual, but it’s important to consume credible news and protect your presence of mind in the process. The world is bigger than your own corner, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your peace in order to expand your mind.  

Caitlyn Kulczycki is a sophomore studying media advertising with minors in psychology and creative writing. 

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