While most students believe that keeping up with the news takes too much time, Michael Bennett makes it part of his daily routine.
Although Bennett is a double major in political science and marketing, he insists those in other fields of study to stay informed as well.
“Policy impacts literally every field,” Bennett said. “There is not a major or career-field that isn’t impacted by governmental decisions in some way, shape or form.”
While reading the news daily can seem like a huge undertaking, Bennett recommends starting with the topics that are most interesting and branching out from there.
News platform The Skimm was essentially invented for those who feel like they lack the time or discipline to read the news daily. The Skimm sends users a daily email with a brief summary of the day’s top headlines.
There are also a wide variety of apps and podcasts made for quick news consumption. While most news platforms have easy-to-use app options for subscribers, there are also stand-alone news apps such as BriefMe and iCitizen.
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BriefMe presents users with the top 10 news stories of the day, while iCitizen allows users to filter news stories by interest.
Podcasts are another convenient way to take in the news. Professor and associate director of the Honors College Paul Harris recommends public radio podcasts This American Life and Fresh Air.
Both Bennett and Harris stressed the importance of seeking out multiple news sources rather than following only one. He instructs a once-a-week honors course called times on Tuesdays in which students discuss current and news-worthy events.
Bennett compared getting news from one outlet to eating the same meal everyday.
“You may like it initially, but it stops doing the job,” Bennett said.
In addition to well-known national news sources like the New York Times, Harris also follows a variety of local news outlets like the Opelika-Auburn News and AL.com.
Ultimately, according to Harris, we have a civic duty to stay informed because an effective democracy not only requires a system of checks and balances, but it demands an informed and engaged citizenry.
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