Newsflash: Do You Check the News?

As members of the Blair community can seem so engrossed in our everyday lives in the Blair Bubble, I found myself wondering:

Do Blair students and faculty keep up with current events? Are they keeping themselves educated and are students striving to be bright young intellectuals? Or are students wasting time with their eyes glued to their addictive screens and devices? Where do students and teachers get their news?   Do they check the news at all? After these numerous questions popped into my head and being the inquisitive adventurer I am, I decided to borrow Sandy’s submarine and dive deep under the sea into the Blair Bubble to investigate these matters myself.

After doing thorough research– with taciturn advice from Gary and thankfully no interruptions from Plankton– I found out that about half of the people who answered my survey– 84 Blair Buccaneers, consisting of 52 students and 32 faculty members– check the news regularly.

Not surprisingly, the faculty is more diligent about keeping up with the news than students are. Almost all faculty members who replied said that they consistently check the news. The few exceptions were three female members of the faculty, two of whom reported checking it sometimes and one reporting she does not check the news regularly. The faculty also spends the most time consuming the news out of the surveyed population, with 25% of the group spending between 1 to 2 hours per day reading the news.

Some people, including myself, might be surprised to find out that only 3 out of 10 seniors who answered the survey regularly checks the news. This surprised me since they are the eldest group and are supposed to set an example for the underclassmen. Perhaps the seniors are all busy and occupied with their college applications. However, 50% of the seniors reported spending at least 10 minutes but less than 30 consuming the news each day.

A higher percentage of juniors regularly check the news, though, at 69%. The highest proportion of junior respondents, 38.5%, consume the news for between 30 and 10 minutes a day. 30.8% check the news for less than 10 minutes a day, 23% don’t check the news at all, and 15.4%– my heroes– spend about an hour checking the news.

There’s an equal number of sophomores who regularly check the news, check the news sometimes, and who don’t check it at all. Most of the sophomores spend 10 to 30 minutes per day enlightening themselves, with a few outliers at each end of the spectrum.

The majority of the freshies replied with “sometimes” when asked whether they regularly check the news, with only one or two freshmen replying with a direct “yes” or “no.” The granny in me is very disappointed. One-third of the freshmen spend less than 30 minutes consuming the news, and half spend less than 10 minutes a day on average.

The Oracle’s poll also asked respondents where they get their news, and many people listed more than one source. Social media and news websites led the group, with 48 listing this as one of their sources for news. Perhaps not surprisingly, there was a big division between the sources used by students versus faculty. The next most common news source for everyone surveyed was family members, with 33 votes, followed by video clips or TV, with 31 votes. A lot of students also receive news from their classes or by word of mouth. One respondent credited a specific student as their news source, saying, “Ryan Green. The man is a god.” I wonder where Ryan Green ’19 get his news? The Oracle? 17 out of the 32 faculty respondents acquires news from radio and podcasts.

Only 4 people replied that they obtain their news from print sources, proving that getting news from physical copies of newspapers has become antiquated.

The most popular news source among the Blair population is the New York Times, which is read by 52.4% of respondents, followed by CNN, with 43.9%, and then the Wall Street Journal, with 31.7%. As expected, Snapchat News received a high percentage of student votes: 26.8%. No faculty reported getting their news from that source. Some of the other sources Buccaneers get their news from included ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and Al Jazeera.

Many Blair Bucs look beyond the Bubble, but we could always be more aware of everyday events occuring in the wider world. After all, the Blair Bubble can’t shield us from its realities forever.

(Copyright 2019 Jenna Park)

Jenna Park

Jenna Park is a two-year sophomore at Blair Academy and a writer for the Oracle. She enjoys reading, writing, sports, and loves music, especially singing. She hopes to be a contributing member of The Oracle and deliver news on a range of diverse topics for the Blair community.