Here's the scoop: Do students trust the news?
Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 13:09
In America, people have the freedom to say almost anything they want. While this is one of the greatest rights of an American, it also causes confusion, along with other issues. It can become difficult for people to trust the news. Events such as natural disasters are easily determined true, but any other issues are often based on hearsay. Many stories and rumors are posted on the internet, and will often spread from one source to another in a way which makes it appear to be a legitimate story.
Parkland student Maijihela Tovar, 20, watches the news about once a month, but usually listens on the radio. "Sometimes I prefer it to music," said Tovar. "It keeps me informed on what's going on, but depending on the news, I don't believe much that isn't a world issue or national news; mostly because you expect the news to be telling the truth." Tovar also doesn't believe majority of the social news dealing with celebrities and the controversy that follows them.
Another Parkland student, Anastacio Basilio, 19, follows the news not only on the television, but also via Twitter. "I like to be informed on what's going on in the world," said Basilio. "I don't want to be the last one to know."
Basilio noted that he believes roughly 85 percent of what the news has to say. "If something catches my eye, I tend to do research to see how many other resources say the same thing because some information gets mixed up and becomes misleading," he said.
Reading further into a subject or topic is a simple way to distinguish between true and false stories. Other newspapers, websites, or news stations may report the same thing, but with slightly different details. Several only give you a one-sided story, which can lead to false assumptions and misinterpretations of information.
Parkland freshman, Chris Thomas, 27, holds the above statement to be true. "Maybe once a week I watch the news, but that's because I'm either at work or here at Parkland," he said. "Depending on which news program I'm watching depends on what I believe, like Fox news I don't believe most of it." He also believes that some stations are mostly concerned about high ratings, going for the entertainment factor rather than informing.
Eric Dahlke, 18, and Parkland Pathways student doesn't have much time to dedicate to watching or listening to the news. "Unless it's local, I don't really believe too much of it," he said. "I know what's going on locally, but I don't in other places where I'm not there. National news is okay, but it still depends on what station it is." According to Dahlke, pop culture can be erratic and frivolous.
When video clips, hard facts, and other forms of data are provided, it makes a news story much more reliable, and Parkland student Matt Dupree, 18, would agree. "I believe most of the news, especially when there is evidence to support it," said Dupree.
On the other end of the line is Alex Pelmore, also 18 and a Parkland freshman, rarely listens or watches the news. "When it's on, I don't really pay attention to it," said Pelmore. "The news isn't appealing to me, they usually only tell about the bad things so I just drown it out." Pelmore is very optimistic, standing firm that there is a positive side to everything, even events such at 9/11.
Regardless of the reasons Parkland students stay informed; it seems that most of the student body does at least stay informed. It would also appear that many individuals take most of the things they hear with a grain of salt. Whichever medium is chosen for the news, it is important to understand the events that are occurring both nationally and locally. You cannot prepare for something if you don't know what's coming.