No Room for News?

Why news should be incorporated into Suncoast High School’s daily schedule.

February 19, 2021

With a simple addition to the schedule, students could learn about science, politics, technology and cultural events. Even economics and finance could be included. Suncoast High School takes pride in its excellence in educating students about a variety of subjects, however, it shares a fault with countless other schools. The school fails to teach students about daily events with the exception of a few teachers who use CNN10 or something similar. Knowledge about current events can bring a plethora of benefits to students and should be delivered on a local, national and international level.

The news could be delivered in short daily segments so as to not remove much time from class. These segments could use audio, be spoken by teachers, read in a summary or shown in a video. If time permits, there could be a class discussion afterwards. Various benefits could be acquired in that short period of time. For example, this would help teach students to have an analytical mind and to work with information given by the media.

In current times, the news has a heightened level of importance due to COVID-19. People should know if cases are escalating in certain areas and how to stay safe. It is also important to be aware of new developments such as new strains of the virus. By being aware of the scale and severity of the pandemic, students may also be willing to take more precautions. Updates on the vaccines are also crucial to know when and if they can be vaccinated. Knowing other government decisions such as social restrictions and what businesses will be open aid students in following the law and planning activities.

“It is important to discuss the happenings and watch those happenings because it is the world we live in and the world your generation will inherit. To go in blindly to your future is to breed failure for our future” said Neil Brown, a Suncoast High School history teacher.

Without learning about current events, students will not see patterns and learn about how the world functions. Early knowledge of this delivered from school can help guide the next generation.

It is difficult for one to discuss the news without mentioning political news. Although many may consider it to be a nuisance, this is far from the truth. The news encourages students to be active in society through politics. The advent of social media has made news more accessible. Since then, there has been a rise in young leaders and activists around the world. Seeing government decisions and political beliefs help students get politically engaged. This is an essential part of society and what much of government is based on. Politics shapes the futures of peoples and nations. Students may disagree with what is occurring and see the importance of voting. Some may even wish to see greater change and become activists or consider running for an office, likely at the local level. Being exposed to facts may also make it harder for that student to be manipulated into supporting something, instead, any changes in political opinion would originate from engaging in intelligent discussions and arguments as well as from new facts and events. Education, such as news, helps block conspiracies and illogical reasoning. 

“[H]aving less belief in simple solutions and having stronger analytical skills” helps one avoid conspiracies and delusional thoughts, stated Christian Jarrett, a psychologist. 

News provides and encourages analytical thought and the existence of nuanced and complex situations. By being shown real-world events, students can realize that there are multiple valid schools of thought and much of what happens cannot be simply explained and resolved. Additionally, it will provide students with the skillset to invoke the change they want to see in the world.

Local news also has a large impact and should be shown. It would help students become important members of their community and keep up with local events and policies. Local news is often overshadowed by news that operates on a larger scale. However, it is important and may affect readers and viewers more directly than national news. Students may be inspired to volunteer and serve their communities because of what they see. They may find new activities and places to enjoy. They would be aware of new policies, which oftentimes impacts dwellers of that area more than nationwide or statewide government decisions. Students would even be aware of developments in weather which has the potential to affect their day inside and outside of school.

News helps keep students informed on technological and scientific developments. In modern times, this is important as these developments are coming faster than ever before. They are also playing a larger role in society as a whole. Technology affects social lives, the economy, government, entertainment, safety, jobs and even education. 

The news could potentially help students make smarter financial decisions. Economic crises are often mentioned. Students could start noticing trends and be prepared for the next one as an adult. They may see the reasons why it is happening and prevent themselves from making mistakes. Students could also learn how to make smarter financial decisions and the importance of saving money. Many of these steps are not as simple as they sound and many families would still be affected. However, some may be able to dodge some effects and slightly improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, much of what is mentioned is mainly directed towards students who will be in the middle class as an adult. One of the main parts discussed in economic news is the stock market. Students could prepare not only to invest but to make smart investments. This can be accomplished by keeping up with what companies are doing, international trade, policies involving the economy and patterns in the rise and fall of stock value at certain times and relating to certain types of companies. Even simply knowing about events in other cities, states and countries can help as events elsewhere can affect the global or national economy.

The extensive benefits of keeping up with the news involve even being culturally connected. Students may learn of sports games, the film industry, entertainment, fashion, trends and other cultural phenomenons. Although this has a large chance of not being included as it is generally perceived as being less important, it could help get some students interested and invested in the news. However, many students are already up to date on these areas due to knowledge acquired outside of school.

Finally, the news can help inspire students to select a career path. The news features experts from many areas of life such as cultural figures, economists, politicians, scientists and athletes. Students may see something discussed that they enjoy and will decide to keep up with. This may end up being their lifelong interest and shaping their career path.

Ultimately, news helps students look at the world around them critically and intelligently. It fosters rational thinking and encourages educational activity. All the positives of news are being missed out on by a majority of students. The benefits of including news are extensive and broader than what is included in this piece. Unfortunately, students may not wish to be updated on their own. Therefore, a school should get them in the habit of learning about current events outside of the bits and pieces that may be gathered elsewhere. There are many important classes that teachers and staff may fear would have time taken away from. However, the news does not have to be extensive and in-depth, even if more knowledge could be extracted from that. The news could be compressed into a daily four to 10-minute segment covering a wide range of topics.

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