MORGAN LEGEL | firstname.lastname@example.org | Asst. Opinion Editor
John H. Sununu, a former New Hampshire governor, once said, “Perspective gives us the ability to accurately contrast the large with the small, and the important with the less important. Without it, we are lost in a world where all ideas, news, and information look the same. We cannot differentiate, we cannot prioritize and we cannot make good choices.”
When analyzing this under the realm of news, and with consideration to Butler University students, I believe we are lacking the “perspective” Sununu speaks of. All news is not the same. No news is more or less important than any other news, but it is important to make the distinction between local, national, and international news.
Most of the news I digest is related to the city of Indianapolis, Butler, or my hometown, Hammond, Indiana.
I doubt I’m the only one who does not follow a broader range of news.
I believe most Butler students are not aware of national and international news, myself included. It is not easy to skew our minds away from what happens closest to us.
Maurice Simmons, a junior journalism minor, says that it’s less effort to read local news, rather than national and international news.
“Of course,” Simmons said, “local news is easier to access for the simple fact that it’s more current and more in-your-face, so I don’t have to try as hard. I will say international news is where I fall off.”
The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism conducted a survey that studied newspaper readers in the United States. The survey was administered for the National Newspaper Association.
The organization’s research proved that people tend to read their community newspapers first instead of looking for a variety of news sources.
The NNA’s president, Merle Baranczyk, said that the study highlights the power of local news on a community.
“The numbers are self-evident,” Baranczyk said. “They indicate the level of connectedness people have with their community newspaper. From year to year, the studies have shown that people believe in their local papers, for the news they need and the advertising they rely on.”
If most people’s go-to source is a local paper, and most local papers concentrate heavily on local news, are these people educating themselves on national and worldwide issues as well? Or do they have the same problem as Butler, living in their respective town’s bubble?
Even when you expand a little from a local paper, to a singular social media website, the same sensation occurs. You only have one source for your news, even if they come off as separate, diverse outlets.
Junior Ali Selheim’s go-to news source is one of these websites.
“I use Twitter a lot for my news sources,” Selheim said. “The first thing I see when I look at my newsfeed is all of the pieces of news.”
Ultimately, no one should stick with just one newspaper, online website, or blog. A diverse selection of news and media outlets would challenge students to consider global issues as well as personal ones.
Sooner than we’d like to admit, we will all graduate and move on from Butler, the place we have come to love and call home.
We will migrate to the real world and we won’t have the convenience of the Butler bubble.
When that day comes, we won’t have a choice. We will be affected by a wide array of issues, not just local ones.
If you plan to solely focus on local news, you will lose touch with what is happening in different areas of the globe.
So get out there and read and search for a new perspective of the world.
Learning doesn’t end in the classroom or at school.