Day of news engagment aims to better inform our society

Sept. 24 2014

By Michael Riley

Approximately 29 percent of Americans under the age of 25 are now considered “newsless” according to the most recent Pew Research Center biennial news consumption survey.
The classification of “newsless” means in the past 24 hours, the individual participating did not consume any news either from digital news platforms such as cell phones and social media or traditional new platforms.

This sizable minority should be an alarming red flag to every American citizen. The variety of options individuals – especially tech-savvy Millennials – have at their fingertips allows for an unprecedented engagement with news. Despite the convenient advances in technology, being informed about national and local news is no longer a priority.

To combat this troubling trend, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) has launched a campaign by sponsoring the first National News Engagement Day. On Oct. 7, the AEJMC wants to see all Americans to “read, watch, tweet, post, text, email, listen to, or comment on news” according to www.newsengagementorg.

At press time, UW-Whitewater Commication Department had voted to participate, but plans are still being finalized.  I hope they continue to strive to encourage current and future Warhawks that being an active and informed citizen is imperative for a successful democracy.

Other universities across the country have already pledged to support AEJMC’s efforts ranging from simple to complex:
University of Alabama is hosting “A Day in the Life” where a local news organization partners with the community to complete a project documenting life in the surrounding area via social media.
University of Texas at Austin are asking for their students to “Post and Tweet Screenshot of News Story” with a goal of posting news to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Saint Louis University are doing a “Community Media Promotion Partnership” meaning an entire class will work on creating a niche blog for a local nonprofit organization.

All of these events were found at National News Engagement Day – Activities Board on Pinterest along with many more: http://www.pinterest.com/aejmc/national-news-engagement-day-activities-board/

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