Shippensburg University hosted a media and politics guest panel Oct. 30 in the Old Main Chapel to discuss the news cycle.
The event featured the commentary of political science professor Alison Dagnes, as well as two special guests from Harrisburg and the Washington, D.C., area who shared their advice on finding and creating accurate forms of media.
Dagnes is known for voicing her opinion both nationally and internationally, and as a published author. Her two books “Politics on Demand: The Effects of 24-Hour News on American Politics” and “A Conservative Walks into a Bar: The Politics of Political Humor” give readers an insight into the impact that politics has on American society.
Joining her on the panel were Scott LaMar, a radio personality on WITF’s interactive daily show “Smart Talk,” and WETA production manager Timothy Dombro.
With the amount of information that is available at people’s fingertips these days, it can be difficult to tell what is truthful and what is not, Dombro said.
“The news is so fast and so breaking,” he said.
It is not uncommon for media sources to break a story before fully verifying the facts in an effort to keep up with today’s constant and competitive news cycle.
According to LaMar, it is more important to focus on getting it right rather than getting it fast.
As the world continues to change, so does a journalist’s responsibilities. Fact checking each story before it gets into the hands of the public will help cut down on the flow of misinformation.
The trio also spoke of the influence that national news coverage has on local and breaking news.
“The news cycle only lets breaking news last a few days,” LaMar said.
Stories that used to get lengthy coverage now only stay in the public eye until something involving politics on the national level occurs.
“So much happens now that news gets buried,” he said.
Events that are important on a more local level have not been receiving the attention they deserve. With the speed that news travels it is easy to skip through certain stories, but doing this leads to an uninformed public.
It seems like nearly everything involving politics is deemed breaking news. Which begs the question, what stories are considered newsworthy?
According to Dombro, taking in a variety of different news sources, especially ones with a perspective different from one’s own, is the key to combating today’s 24/7 news cycle.
Absorbing information from a handful of different unbiased sources is the key to staying well informed. Experiencing the world for what it is gives people the chance to decide what is in fact newsworthy for themselves.
“You need to see what’s really happening in the world. Get out from within yourself and see what’s going on in the world, because sometimes we forget,” Dombro said.