Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 28, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Editorial: People should responsibly engage with news media

The media are everywhere, yet many people do not actually know what is going on in the news. Luckily, Ithaca College is hosting events for National News Engagement Day on Oct. 6, which will bring in a number of alumni and journalists to give presentations and facilitate discussions, and all members of the campus community should consider attending.

With so much news coverage circulating through people’s social media feeds every day, and with so much of this coverage not necessarily coming from professional journalists or established media outlets, it is now more important than ever to consume the media we come across responsibly. People should learn how to not take any piece of news they come across at face value, and they should be critical of what media organizations — especially larger media corporations — are publishing.

Additionally, people should be selective with the type of media they consume. While watching videos and reading about celebrities may be entertaining, it should not be the only type of media people engage with. There are far more important events and conflicts going on in the world that demand attention from a public audience. People should realize the importance of and think critically about media that cover political, social and economical issues. The more people demonstrate a commitment to consuming this type of media, the more dedication media organizations will have to covering it fairly and effectively.

For example, many people have complained about how much mainstream media has focused on just one presidential candidate’s campaign, but the public actually has some ability to change this. The fewer people show significant interest in that particular candidate, the more the media will cover other candidates. The media is receptive to public interest trends, and especially among large media conglomerates, news coverage will center around which stories will generate more subscriptions, more website page-clicks and ultimately more profit for that organization.

Engaging with the media is a two-way street with an unspoken dialogue. The media will cover what is important to society, so society needs to show the media what’s important by communicating with and consuming media in a responsible and intelligent way.