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The Carletonian

Old media gets to the depth of issues

<eaking news alert from multiple media outlets that many of us got on our phones a little over a year ago: Donald Trump orders a US travel ban against citizens from a select number of countries based on national security concerns.

New York Times headline from around the same time: “Supreme Court to Consider Challenge to Trump’s Latest Travel Ban.”

The latter headline extensively investigates the issue of the first travel ban, ranging from the reason for it to the ability of the judicial branch to challenge it.

I think there is just one word that distinguishes old media from new media: depth. While frequently old media is defined as radio and print press, I feel that it can encompass also any articles (even if published online) that really get in-depth with a topic.

So much of new media is just concise enough to keep a busy person’s attention span. While it may sound like I’m attacking new media, I am really not. I think both ages of media have their respective places in society and they can work together quite often, as well.

Personally, if I just need some quick information on a topic, I will glance at the brief news alert. Like any Carl, my schedule can be completely packed much of the time. I am lucky if I can even finish my class readings (PSA: don’t take three writing rich classes at the same time).

However, it is still quite important to be informed about what is going on in the world. Whether it is an issue in your town or on the other side of the world, having basic knowledge is valuable and can lead to positive policy change (like if there is an election referendum in a related topic or whatnot).

However, let’s say I’m on a bus ride somewhere and have some time to pass. I will refer to the longer article, a representation of old media.

I will be able to understand a topic from a more thorough angle and likely from a particular bias (as I am a strong believer in the idea that news writing can never be fully neutral). As I have gotten older, I have become more aware of recognizing perspectives and determining how my own views measure up.

And to consider a new dimension of media, about print news particularly, you do not need WiFi to get access to it. I feel like that may come across as a surprise, when it shouldn’t.

 For my whole life, my parents have been avid readers of print newspaper, willing to read those extensive pieces that encompass many pages and encounter many core journalism ethics.

Furthermore, several times throughout my fall study abroad program I was left without Internet access for long periods of time (like on plane rides and that week I spent on a farm in a rural part of Chile).

I should have realized then the beauty of print information, like newspaper and novels too. Several people on my program brought books with them on the trip to read during these disconnected times.

Regardless of the nature of a book, it can serve as a valuable source of media. Even if it is fiction, its concepts can probably be applied to some contemporary global event.

Furthermore, when was the last time you truly read for fun? I mean, it is a pleasure that sometimes we as college students can forget about. When you have free time, it would be a great thing to get back into.

I personally am making major effort to do this whenever I am on break from Carleton, particularly during this last summer.

The coexisting identities of old media and new media are why I get quite annoyed when older people criticize millennials in how we consume media (“all they want to do is take stupid Buzzfeed quizzes”).

First off, whether Buzzfeed is actual news can be subject to debate, but either way, it is just one outlet in media.

New media is shorter and more concise, but it can be just as brilliant. The challenge just comes down to when to spend that time reading the old media versions.

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