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Staying Informed in the Digital Age

Sophomore Catherine Crawford teaches Ms. Smith about the wonders of the NPR podcast. Photo: Meghna Singha

With social media so much a part of most students’ lives, many find it difficult to find news sources that are both easily accessible and reliable. Students also struggle to find the time and attention span to read long articles. But there are many options to stay informed of current events and other important news.

National Public Radio (NPR) provides in-depth interviews and unbiased information for local, national and international news. “It speaks in a rational voice, presents evidence from all sides and gives time to the guests to tell a story,” said upper school history teacher and avid NPR listener Helen Smith. On FM radio, NPR is available on 90.1 in Atlanta, provided by station WABE. The segment called “All Things Considered” is a tried and true Helen Smith favorite.

In addition to news and music, NPR also sponsors many podcasts to listen to while exercising, driving or eating. The podcast “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” allows listeners to test their knowledge of current events along with a panel of celebrities. Like all NPR podcasts, it is available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

“The Daily” is a New York Times sponsored podcast, run by top news journalist Michael Barbaro. In just 20 minutes, the podcast gives listeners a quick rundown of the day’s news. It is available on all podcast streaming platforms.

The Apple News App allows iPhone users to subscribe to different news outlets and sends headline notifications. Recommended unbiased sites are NBC News for national news and BBC News for world news. Users who subscribe to Apple News+ gain access to hundreds of digital magazines and newspapers, such as The New York Times. 

The Woodruff Library online portal provides a list of trusted news sources along with links to those sources. “We added those links because it makes news articles a whole lot easier to find and access for students,” said Library Assistant Tiger Brown. In addition, the library provides a search engine for articles, books and videos. 

Currently, much of the news is negative, but comedy news shows lighten the scene with satirical takes on current events. Trevor Noah’s “The Daily Show” airs every weekday, telling the day’s top stories with a humorous slant. “Saturday Night Live” has a segment called “Weekend Update” in which hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che humorously review the week’s top stories. “’Weekend Update’ is not only hilarious but it is actually relatively informative,” said sophomore Catherine Crawford. “Plus, it is available to watch on Snapchat, so that makes it really easy to access.”

Even just having conversations regarding current events helps bring in many points of view to get a broader view of the news. “Every night at dinner my family and I talk about what’s going on in the world,” said senior Lenox Herman. “It’s not only interesting, but it helps me become an informed, and probably better, citizen of the world.”


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