By Clinton Dick
A bomb could explode halfway across the world, kill several and injure a few others and you can bet that it will get at least a few minutes of discussion on national news. That is the way the news works, something happens and there is a need to know about it. But what if it doesn’t impact us at all? Switching the station on the television or clicking the back button on our laptop is easy enough, but it comes down to what if there just isn’t any interest or purpose to college students knowing what is going on out in the world anymore? That is the way it seems anyway.
On Jan. 10 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won the primary in New Hampshire, beating out fellow candidates Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry. The next day an Iranian nuclear scientist was killed in a bombing in Iran. Those were just two of many stories on CNN.com, which is only one of a countless number of mass media outlets.
Now how many of you could have listed off all of the Republican presidential candidates without the given answer above? Do you know what is happening in Iran, South Carolina or even here on campus? There are things happening every second of every day and with technology advancing at a lightning fast pace, we are able to see or know about it as it happens.
Let’s face it. We don’t care unless it has something to do with our lives directly. If someone shoots and kills three people in California we might think, “Who would do such a thing?” and move on with our own problems. What it comes down to, though, is that once we get out into the big, bad world, what happens across the world just might become our problem.
Take the fact that the presidential election is coming up this November. The decision that the citizens of America make will ultimately affect the state of the country for the next four years. During those next four years, many of us will be graduated from college, have a job and may even be living in our own home. Wouldn’t it be better if the person that will be leading the United States was someone you knew enough about to feel comfortable?
It isn’t just the informer’s duty to find news; they first must have something to be informed about. The first obligation of the news and news reporters is to inform the citizens. It makes it a little hard when the citizens don’t take on the objective to be informed on the news.
If we don’t start informing ourselves now, then we might not break out of the habit of ignoring current events. Not that everyone is uninformed, but it is easy to admit that even I haven’t put much effort into checking news sites on a daily basis. It is scary when you first realize what you are missing out there.
This isn’t a rant about how today’s college students sometimes forget there is an entire planet’s worth of news that happens every day. This is simply a wakeup call that will hopefully snap a few of you into action. Besides, how are all of us young college students going to change the world if we don’t know what it holds?
Clinton Dick is a junior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.