How to Build the News into Your Schedule so You Can Be An ~Informed~ Citizen

When I was heading into college as a political science major, I knew that I had to stay updated in current events. At first it seemed like a daunting task: staying informed about the world, your country, and your state’s politics takes dedication and persistence, and most college students barely have enough time to shower. But as I began incorporating the news into my daily life, I realized how useful and easy it can be.

1. Podcasts will save your life

Listening to the news is so easy. Everyday while you get ready, walk to class, or drive to work, you can multitask and take current events with you! It takes me about an hour to get ready in the morning, so I usually listen to two news podcasts while I’m showering, picking out my outfit, etc. My favorites are “The Daily”, The New York Times’ podcasts produced every weekday that focuses on one news story and delves into it. “The Daily” is great because it helps explain complicated stories in an entertaining way. Not only does “The NPR Politics Podcast” have fun hosts, it also keeps you updated on the race for 2020 by doing segments on each Democratic candidate. Finally, for the quickest and easiest way to stay informed everyday, listen to NPRs “Up First.” This podcast covers the three main stories in the news, all in ten minutes. Some podcasts are serious and some are more fun, but it’s important to find ones that you like and listen to them consistently.

2. Phone Notifications exist.

You have no excuse not to be informed anymore. If you are just beginning your journey as an enlightened citizen, set notifications up through your News App, or countless other news sources you can download on your phone. Other popular ones are CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. When my friend told me she wanted to stay more informed but didn’t know where to begin, I recommended just getting notifications throughout the day on her phone. That way, she didn’t have to read any articles if she didn’t want to and could stay updates on any major events as they happen.

3. TV as background noise

It’s important not to solely get your news from the TV or one channel. Most programs carry their own bias and partisan, but TV can be helpful to have on while your doing your homework or to watch significant events, like the Brett Kavenaugh hearing. It is also a good way to stay informed about local issues to understand what’s affecting your neighbors.

4. Newspapers for when you’re feeling yourself

Subscribe! Subscribe! Subscribe! Supporting your favorite newspapers is so important and helps reporters and journalists give you the news you love! It’s also how those phone notifications are able to exist. Because those notifications are from federal news agencies, local newspapers are the best source to learn what is going on in your town or state. Most college students spend hundreds of dollars on books, so for just $4 more a month, you can get The New York Times’ student subscription. Almost all other newspapers will have a student discount too. Plus, the New York Times offers you four weeks free of its printed edition, which you can use to make cool collages like mine: In a time when so much is going on economically, socially, and politically, it is vital to be informed about what the world is experiencing. Especially with elections approaching, the news can help you learn about candidates and make an informed decision about who best supports your agenda. Designating just thirty minutes to reading the news during breakfast will help you become a more informed citizen and empathetic neighbor. So go read, listen, watch, and converse about what is going on in our world and how we can make it better.

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