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News Literacy Week: What the changing industry looks like to the next generation of journalists

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Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-26 21:47:03-05
  • It’s news literacy week here at 23ABC and for most of us here, we began our journalism careers like so many: in the classroom.
  • At The Runner Newspaper at CSUB, young journalists are learning about how the industry is changing and its impacts on news literacy.

It’s news literacy week here at 23ABC and for most of us here, we began our journalism careers like so many: in the classroom.

“For the most part I just look at the student perspective of it now and how we have a voice here on campus,” said Ashleah Flores, Editor and Chief at The Runner at Cal State Bakersfield.

Flores was first introduced to news media as a child watching the nightly news and Rachel Maddow with her uncle. Now she’s gearing up to graduate with a degree in journalism. Flores said it’s her experiences learning about the industry that have changed her perspective on news and news literacy.

“I think with how time has evolved, I think it’s very different now," she said. "My perception of is very different than somebody who isn’t going into the news industry. It’s going to be very different because everyone views news very differently.”

Flores said she understands that the news industry today isn’t the same one she grew up watching, with more emphasis on social media and instant information rather than the longer form of storytelling seen in traditional newspapers and broadcasts.

“It’s definitely a career or a space that you have to be very engaged in, there’s a lot of fast-paced action," said Jordan Vickers, a computer science major and Managing Editor of The Runner.

While he’s not looking to graduate with a degree in journalism, his time on The Runner sparked an interest in news literacy and expanded his understanding of what news is and how to perceive it.

“I like to think about my personal life, where do I get most of my information from? Where do I get my news from most of it comes from social media," Vickers said.

Vickers and Flores both see the changes in the industry priorities, something that could potentially explain the drop in communication and journalism enrollment numbers. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, enrollment in major groups for journalism, radio, and television dropped 14.2 percent in five years.

“If that’s how people are consuming information then that’s how information should be disbursed," Vickers said. "So that’s how I kind of understand that the news industry is moving towards social media.”

Flores said she believes traditional news values still matter in the modern day and learning more about news literacy and how people consume information only motivates her more to break into the industry.

“It makes me want to be even more powerful as a woman in the news industry and social media because everyone has their own perception of how social media works within the news," she said.

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