By Garrison Murphy ’15
I remember considering the fact that I would have to write this letter when first taking the Co-Editor in Chief position approximately one year ago, but it still seems odd that I am here writing it now.
It’s common to hear seniors talk about how fast time flies at Brophy and it’s true, my time at Brophy and at The Roundup has gone by so quickly. In my short four years at Brophy and my even shorter two years with this publication I have learned so much. I have learned with and about my peers, my community, my school and myself.
If someone told my freshman self what I am doing today, he wouldn’t believe it.
But above all, in all of my journeys, trials and tribulations at this school and in this publication I have learned the importance of being present.
Being informed and in the moment is the most important thing a person can do and that is especially true on campus. It is also an issue that is becoming more relevant everyday on a nationwide scale.
Americans under 30 are spending progressively less time consuming news than young people of previous generations, according to a survey done by the Pew Research Center in 2012.
The survey showed that Millennials spend 38 minutes less per day consuming news than older generations. This gap in news consumption is startling, and for many reasons terrifying.
As a student journalist I have been taught that a large chunk of my job, and the job of all journalists, is to keep those who hold high positions in check.
We are a sort of an unintended check-and-balance that uses mass communication to keep the populace out of the dark.
But what if that populace simply doesn’t care?
Another job we have is to keep people up to date with current events.
How would the average person really know what is going on in Capitol Hill without journalists? What about the Middle East?
But what if that average person just stops caring about the news of the day? Obviously, in both circumstances the populace becomes more susceptible to corruption and manipulation, but what about other not so obvious consequences?
If this trend of not caring about news continues, one thing is for certain–there will be a substantial decrease in the amount of people who cover news and in turn a substantial decrease in news, especially news that strives to be unbiased.
What happens when we really need news coverage, like in the instance of a national catastrophe or natural disaster? Sure there might be some superficial coverage of it, but would there be enough?
Would your local news organization be able to inform you of how this event affects your community specifically if it is low on journalists and low on funds? In order for news organizations to stay afloat, we as news consumers need to begin seeking news much more actively.
How we can initiate that on a large scale, I am not sure yet. But if you cared enough to read this column then you are already on the right track and can begin to help turn things around.
This newspaper you are holding or website page you are scrolling through is your community news. It is your lifeline to all things that go on in your community.
Just read the news, that’s all you have to do. It is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
In fact, it is our duty to be informed citizens. If you feel inclined, buy a subscription to a newspaper even if it is an online subscription–it’s worth it.