Monday, June 13, 2011

Confessions of a News Junkie

The Rachel Maddow Show (TV series)Image via Wikipedia
I have been a news junkie since I was a junior in high school. Everyday I read at least twenty five news articles, listen to at least an hour and a half of news from National Public Radio (NPR), watch one to three hours of news from Al Jazeera and enjoy three news programs (Anderson Cooper 360°, The Rachel Maddow Show, and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams) via their podcasts. I feel that it is very important to know what is happening from a variety of different news sources. I started paying attention to the news as a Junior after an English teacher that I had started each class with a few students presenting a news article that they had read recently. We never knew who she was going to call on so we were expected to be prepared everyday.  By the end of the school year I had fallen in love with current events and was reading and watching everything that I could.

Through all of these sources I have learned quite a bit about a wide range of topics that I might not have learned about any other way.  I think that more junior high and high school teachers need to stress to their students the importance of current events. There are a lot of benefits that students can enjoy by staying informed in what is happening in the world and their own communities. First, it could assist them with college interviews or essays. Second, they could learn about volunteer and job opportunities in their community. Third, by staying informed they will have more topics that they can  talk with others about. Fourth, and maybe most important to students, they could save money by learning about special sales and lower gas prices. Fifth, after they turn eighteen it is important for them to pay attention to politics so that they can be an informed voter.

About six months ago I found out that Al Jazeera English is streamed live 24 hours a day online and via their iPhone app. I like this channel quite a bit because they cover stories from around the world in more detail than the national news stations in the United States. Also, since I don't have cable this is the only 24 hour news source that I have found.that is streamed live online and on the iPhone. Also CNN streams press conferences, political speeches, criminal trials, and breaking news videos which can be quite interesting some days.