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Tips from a pro: Dr. Karen McIntyre on how to get the most out of news

Oct 3, 2017

Posted in: News

Karen McIntyre, Ph.D.
Karen McIntyre, Ph.D.
In celebration of News Engagement Day, we here in the Robertson School thought it would be beneficial to talk with one of our professors--whose research emphasis is on solutions journalism-- about how to engage and interact with news. Below are some of the tips that journalism professor Dr. Karen McIntyre shared.
 
Don't be a Debbie Downer: Don't perpetuate the stereotype that news is always depressing and the world is doomed and we should all feel hopeless. Think to yourself, "How are people responding to this problem?" and search for news stories about that. Try searching in the Solutions Story Tracker, which is a database of rigorous reporting on how people are responding to society's problems. 
 
Engage in constructive debate: Most of us read political news stories we disagree with and dismiss them as biased, inaccurate or just plain nuts. Next time you read or listen to such a story, call up a friend or family member who you disagree with politically and discuss the story. Share why you didn't trust the story, but more importantly, listen to the counter argument. Have this conversation over the phone or in person, not on social media where it's easy to fling insults. 
 
Have an attitude of gratitude: Imagine where we would be without the news media. OK, at first that sounds like a nice, peaceful life. But after you think deeply about it, you'll realize how important the press is to preserving our democracy. Journalists work hard for you, and when's the last time you said thank you? Write your favorite journalist an email or Tweet and thank them for their work. You might even consider donating to your favorite news organization. After all, they do give you their news for free.