On a campus like the College of Charleston, it’s hard not to stumble across a club or organization that supports one political persuasion over the other. But with all of this stuff being thrown in our faces, it can be difficult to tune out all of the political chatter coming from every direction. This political apathy is extremely common for Americans today. Following the headlines and tweets and Snapchat news stories everyday can get overwhelming, and there’s an urge to toss it all to the side and just entertain yourself with something less stressful. After all, we are exposed to more information in the form of media than any generation ever. But, I digress, I’m not going to harp on about the impact of social media or smartphones or “kids these days”; mostly I just want to say that I GET IT.
You don’t want to watch the news every night. You don’t want to fact-check every single word you read. That’s okay! But it’s so important to know what matters to you when you’re making decisions, especially ones inside the ballot box. As women, we’re historically more likely to vote than our male counterparts. That should feel empowering and encouraging; women really are making a difference in every election cycle and have been since the 1960’s. It’s become increasingly challenging to make sure that those votes are informed in a way that gets the most bang for their buck. There are many news sources that have earned their credibility and make reading the news a short and painless process.
As a high schooler, I was introduced to TheSkimm, an online news magazine that covers hot topic news as well as events in your area. But the best part about it is the newsletter that they send out everyday with new updates, straight to your email. We’re all checking our emails on the daily so we might as well get some well-written news while we’re at it.
Another great way to get quick news updates is through CNN’s 5 Things. They breakdown the latest news into five headlines and then put a short, one-paragraph summary beneath it going into more detail. I’ve used this for the past three years and it has been so helpful before walking into a government class or even just to make conversation with your peers and professors. Being up to date makes you a more knowledgeable and well-rounded American citizen and this can be used in your day-to-day life or in the ballot box.
The words “fake news” are becoming more and more common in our lives, so you wonder if what you’re reading is true or false. It’s alright to be confused and it’s especially okay to challenge what your reading, but it’s also good to find a news network/paper that you trust. Personally, I have leaned towards credible news sources like the New York Times for well-researched articles.
I would be remiss without this seemingly obvious reminder to VOTE! Whether you use any of the sources that I hold near and dear, or you just brush this off as another author on a political soapbox, registering to vote and going to the polls makes your pursuit of the political truth worth it! Being away from home can be tricky, but casting an absentee ballot is pretty simple when you read through the SC Votes website. You’ve got this!