by Rachel Kocsis
With thousands of print articles, television and radio broadcasts produced on a daily basis, the news is everywhere we look. With evolving technology and media, there are multiple ways to consume news through newspapers, magazines, websites and television shows.
From local to national media, stories are designed to shape our public knowledge and perception of our community and the world around us. For Niagara University students, that objective has become more difficult as news stories have become more entertaining and less educational in recent years.
"I feel like they do provide information right away, but some of it is fabricated and dramatized in order to make it interesting to keep readers wanting more," said sophomore Katie Mayes.
Brianna LoCurto, a junior, said, "I feel like people watch it more to be entertained and to see what's going wrong in the world rather than to really learn or be informed about anything."
In today's fast-paced and high-tech world, newspapers are becoming a thing of the past. Niagara University students are relying on the power of smartphones to keep themselves updated on the latest news.
"I read news from websites like Facebook. It's convenient when I'm on the go, because my phone is always with me and I'm already on it. I hate watching the news on TV; it's so time-consuming," said sophomore student Alexa Bax.
Browsing through media websites on a smartphone is fast and easy - perfect for busy college students. Students check their phones between classes, on their way to work, and in their free time, so mobile websites makes reading the news easier than ever before with real-time updates.
News stories are successful when readers trust the source they're getting information from. Local and national media cover some of the same stories and issues, but many students seem to favor local news over national news.
"National news has a wider variety of coverage," said junior Sarah Privitera, "But I prefer local news, especially Channel 4 News, because it's relatable to me rather than a national news story that doesn't really affect me."
"I prefer Channel 4 News, because local news is more focused on how things affect our community and events around our area," said sophomore Coren Mitchell.
Readers have access to local and national news stories at their fingertips. With such a quick flow of information and real-time updates, news stories are changing all the time. News stations that are first to report breaking stories are not always the most accurate as information changes steadily. For some students, the struggle to understand what is fact and what is not influences their perception of news.
Sophomore Tashiana Guerrier said, "It changes the way I trust the accuracy of news because new information is always being uncovered. I think it depends on the timing of a story, too. If an event happened a few minutes ago, reporters don't know all of the details, but report it anyway even if they aren't sure that the information is truly fact."
Conversely, junior Robert Miljour said, "Changing facts doesn't affect my trust of who reports news, nor does it change my way of viewing news, because news changes everyday regardless. New facts, new ideas and new evidence arises daily, especially with tragic stories like the disappearance of the Malaysian plane."
The way students consume news is a personal preference. Some read stories on their phone rather than flipping through a newspaper. Others prefer learning about what affects the community rather than what affects the country. Ultimately, Niagara University students perceive news in a variety of ways and have different methods of being informed about the type of news that interests them.