The digestion of news over the past 150 years

Discussing the popular use of social media in regards to news consumption

Over the past 150 years, the distribution of news has come a long way. Looking out the window to see if the daily newspaper has been delivered to then read it while enjoying a cup of coffee is now a thing of the past. Printed newspapers are becoming scarcer, which suggests that people should start appreciating the smell and textures of the rare publication. Due to the invention of the internet and social media, people can access news articles with the click of a button. Not only can the world access news stories 24/7, but news stories are also shared worldwide.

The Argosy did an informal survey to see how people are getting their news and out of 165 respondents, about 76 percent of people claimed to receive their news from social media, something that would have been unheard of 150 years ago. In comparison, only 12 percent reported digesting news from news outlets. Social media allows for “news to travel much faster,” explained Kaia Knockwood, a third-year psychology student. Emilie Botma, a fourth-year student studying political science, agreed, saying, “news is more accessible and widespread [through social media].”

Despite international news pieces informing the world about global issues, some students are concerned with the damage that it has on news distribution.

“Social media allows for the propagation of false information on a massive scale,” said Miriam Dysart, a fourth-year psychology student. Botma said: “It can oversimplify complex issues or lead to unreliable sources getting attention and spreading false information.”

Knockwood added, “you just don’t know what is true anymore.” She continued: “As an Indigenous person, there is so much false information spread about minorities and specifically, Indigenous people and their communities.”

Over the past 150 years, the readership of The Argosy has become smaller and print editions now only come every second Thursday. However, something that will not change is the fact that it is one of North America’s oldest student newspapers, and more importantly, it is one of the only independent newspapers in the province. For 150 years, The Argosy has served Mount Allison students by amplifying their voices and has brought them an array of unique, local stories.

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