Several alumni and journalism professionals will hold presentations and discussions on the importance of engaging with the news in recognition of National News Engagement Day.
National News Engagement Day is on Oct. 6 this year and was started last year by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications in an effort to create a better informed public through the encouragement of the consumption of news sources, according to the organization’s website.
Virginia Mansfield-Richardson, associate dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications, originally proposed the idea of holding this event at the college. She said the availability of news and the ability to hold media sources accountable are rights that are often taken for granted in our society, and it is the duty of all citizens, especially college graduates, to engage with the news.
“It has never been more important to be on top of the news,” she said. “Don’t ever take for granted your access to news.”
Only 38 percent of millennials reported that it is extremely important to them to keep up with the news, and 69 percent of the millennial generation consumes news daily, according to a March 2015 study by the Associated Press.
Matt Mogekwu, associate professor and chair of the Department of Journalism, said it is important to think about media literacy and how we discern the news on National News Engagement Day.
“People now look at the news and take news with a grain of salt because we’ve had so many situations in which you cannot reconcile in what you find in the news and what is reality,” he said.
Only 40 percent of Americans say they have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the media, down from 55 percent in 1999, according to the latest Gallup poll released Sept. 28. The survey also found a major difference in trust between Americans, with 45 percent of those 50 and older saying they have “a great deal” or “fair amount” of trust, while only 36 percent of those in the 18 to 49 range said they did.
Junior Ethan Johanns said he has little trust in the media.
“Mostly due to the controversy with police and misinformation from the media regarding specific cases and details,” Johanns said. “That’s a big part of my mistrust right now.”
Sophomore JoAnn Castillo said NPR and Mashable are her two main sources of news.
“I’d say I have a fair amount of trust, except for when they identify us as groups, generally age groups and stuff like that.” she said.
Both Castillo and Johanns consider themselves regular consumers of the news, although Johanns said social media is his main source for news.
“I mostly let news bump into me, at least when I’m using social media, rather than finding it,” he said.
News Engagement Day will feature several presentations and speakers. From 10 to 11 a.m. in Emerson Suite A, Matt Mulcahy ’87, anchor, managing editor and reporter at WSTM-TV of Central New York News, will discuss contemporary skills needed for broadcast journalism.
From 12:15 to 12:45 p.m., Ryan Parkhurst, former staff member of the journalism department at the college and current professor at James Madison University, will Skype in to Emerson Suite A with the presentation, “When Journalists are the Story.” Parkhurst was the professor and mentor of Alison Parker, the journalist who was recently murdered on air along with photographer Adam Ward, in Virginia on Aug. 26.
Independent media will be displayed from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., along with drop-in chats with Summer 2015 independent media interns in Emerson Lounge.
The Ithacan, ICTV, WICB and VIC will hold open houses in the Park School from 7 to 8 p.m.