Newspapers help students become more well-rounded

by Claire Hunter

For the college students about to read this article, I salute you. Today, students rarely relax with a newspaper and a cup of coffee. Only slightly more than 20 percent of Americans ages 18-24 could confirm that they had “read any daily newspaper yesterday,” according to the Pew Research Center in 2012. After reading this article, I hope you, reader, understand the benefits of reading the newspaper at least once a week.

As we live in the information age, we understand the need to be equipped with facts. However, we often turn toward unreliable sources of information, which do not have the same degree of accountability as mainline news sources. Reputable news companies have an easily identifiable source of information, as well as their professional reputation to protect. On top of that, government laws define what can be printed.

People may choose less prominent sources of news due to their potential narrower focus. However, smart readers should not make one information source their only source. Everyone has biases and contextual viewpoints, so nothing is purely objective. Journalists strive for the truth, but they are human.

Secondly, reading the newspaper benefits the way one thinks. Reading other people’s experiences challenges one’s usual way of thinking. It gets the reader into the mind of another person, maybe even someone halfway across the world. By reading other people’s ideas, you will refine your thoughts and become a more universal thinker.

Another way newspapers challenge readers is through logic puzzles, such as crosswords and sudoku. Newspapers have a variety of logic puzzles available within their pages. I challenge you to include at least one puzzle a week. I do not say this to imply that everyone who does not read the newspaper is unaware of what is happening in the world. However, we can all get caught up in the daily grind and forget that other people are having experiences beyond the pinecone curtain.

Lastly, a weekly reading of a newspaper can help one become more well-rounded in general. People become more versatile when they not only change their routine, but change what information they consume. Most college students can be found with their noses in textbooks rather than a newspaper or magazine.

Sorry to break it to you, but college students often seem one-dimensional in the minds of people outside academia. You can always remedy this by reading the newspaper, which can make you a more interesting thinker and conversationalist. By picking up the newspaper at least once a week, you will gain a fresh perspective on the world.

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