By Desaray Hickombottom, Communication Studies major, Class of 2020
October 1, 2019 marks the sixth annual National News Engagement Day, when people are encouraged to engage with the news.
On this day, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication encourages Americans to “read, watch, like, tweet, post, listen to, or comment on news and learn news reporting principles.”
National News Engagement Day is observed annually on the first Tuesday in October, a date originally chosen to encourage news engagement ahead of the November elections.
Jaime Loke, an associate professor in the journalism department, was taught by Paula Poindexter, the professor who created National News Engagement Day, during her undergraduate career at The University of Texas at Austin.
“It’s a great way to showcase journalism,” said Loke. “However just having one day is not enough, it should be engaged in every single day.”
She stressed the importance of media literacy and how it should be a curriculum that should be instilled in children at a young age.
Associate Professor Loke as well as the remainder of the journalism faculty continue to instill media literacy in their students through their classes.
One way the professors do this is through TCU360, a student-run news source.
Students write for TCU360 when they enroll in Reporting, a required course for all journalism majors and minors, and they have the option to continue to work for Student Media after the course is over.
This class also teaches students about the various types of news covered in the media.
“It’s important to learn how to distinguish between what’s real versus fake news, how to question where their news is coming from, and why it’s being said,” said Loke.
Americans are consuming more information than before, and National News Engagement Day can assist people in learning whether or not the information they receive is reliable or not.
For more information on News Engagement Day, please visit newsengagement.org.