Editorial: Why read the news?

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New coaches, teachers, and facility renovations. Fluctuating Japan-Korea relations. More of Trump’s racist rhetoric. 

When put in such bite-sized statement forms, current events read like distant happenings we can observe from afar. In our busy high school lives, struggling to keep up with exam after project, keeping up with mere happenings seems beyond the scope of our immediate interests. Should the purpose of journalism and TTONL be to simply relay what has happened, we could publish our articles like the first paragraph of this editorial.

However, TTONL—and journalism as an activist practice—serves to not only relay information but also unearth the nuances and relevance of these issues that cannot be captured in bite-sizes. Reading TTONL is not simply consuming facts for awareness; rather, it reminds us of how we are parts of a broader narrative, and how we are inevitably tied to these news stories occurring around us at this very moment. Journalism encourages us to be the subjects, rather than the object, of news.

The recent changes in Japan-Korea relations, for instance, are more than political hostilities limited to within the gates of the Blue House. As members of Korean society, and mostly as ethnic Koreans who may move to the US for college, understanding our cultural history is important yet unprovided by the school. How do we feel about the boycotts? How do Western media outlets frame the narrative, and how do our perspectives differ from theirs? As such questions are not asked nor answered in a classroom setting, it is up to us to read and think for ourselves as we approach entrance into society beyond high school or even Korea.

School news, too, reminds us to be active participants in the SIS community. News is constantly in the making on campus, as is manifested in the significant number of policy and facility renovations this fall. While we may not have much agency to sway rules or changes,  empowerment stems from consciousness and critical thinking about how school news impacts us. Particularly, articles on policies—take the new locker policies, for instance—remind us that as students, we have the agency to evaluate the school’s decisions and their effects. Rather than blindly being subjected to changes, we can have more control over our school lives by reading an article and giving these issues a moment of thought.

As we enter a new school year, TTONL aims to renew this vision of providing awareness and perspective that, above all, matters to each and every reader. Journalism holds immense value for us—all students, faculty, and TTONL staff—in encouraging us to stay in touch with our surrounding community. We may not yet have the power to change rules or resolve political disputes, but reading the news enables us to approach the world with agency and self-awareness. Every article, video, and post serves to ask questions and suggest answers: where do we stand in our communities, and how can we make a change?

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About Author

Eju Ro

Eju is a senior student and the editor-in-chief of Tiger Times Online.

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