At the end of my time here, I’m calling for an addition to Ohio State’s general education requirements: a required journalism class.
I often see my peers turn to Buzzfeed quizzes and Upworthy posts for their entertainment and news needs. I’ve taken my share of Buzzfeed quizzes and watched quite a few Upworthy videos, but those supplement my media diet — they don’t compose its entirety.
It’s also not right to me that some students know nothing about the unbiased news. And I have this feeling that many in my generation aren’t about to start a subscription to a newspaper even after they graduate.
Ohio State should fix that.
What’s the point of a college education if you don’t know what’s going on in the world, or how politicians side on key issues? How likely are people my age to flip on the local news or to follow a few news organizations on Twitter?
Many of my peers are extremely well-informed. Others aren’t. They think of newspapers as dying, not as something that needs to be saved.
Either during the freshman survey course or as a course taken during students’ senior years, there should be a set course where OSU students learn about these things. They would learn how to tell if an article has good sourcing. They would learn what reporters aim to do. They would learn why their favorite sports reporter probably doesn’t show a bias toward their favorite team.
Among all of the other general education requirements, which range from science courses to writing courses in the College of Arts and Sciences, a journalism class is a natural fit. It doesn’t need to be about how to be a journalist, rather, just about how to be an informed citizen and an informed consumer of news.
As journalists, our audience is often what holds us accountable. We welcome constructive criticism. So we need an informed audience to do that, in order to keep the system in checks and balances.
After all, our main goal is to hold people in power accountable to something bigger than themselves.