Why you should be reading your college newspaper | The Triangle

Why you should be reading your college newspaper

Photo courtesy of the Triangle Staff | The Triangle

On a rare morning where I’ve given myself enough time to get ready, eat breakfast, play through the suite of NYT games and still have time before I need to leave, I find myself opening a set of bookmarked tabs I like to call my personal rotation of college newspapers. I keep it generally local — most of the other Philly schools, a selection from my home state and, maybe, those of one or two schools my close friends go to across the country. I revel in the opportunity to hear the opinions and reportings of my peers, the thoughts and musings of writers I have never met, a glimpse into an experience I might have had, had I taken another path. 

But more importantly, I am grateful for the opportunity to hear and be heard, by students just like me, without barriers or filters. Our generation is the first of many to find that our largest shared social space is the Internet, primarily social media spaces, which suffer from heavy filtration and algorithms catered to keep you logged on. Classroom discussions are limited, both by the curriculum they’re meant to follow and by the rules set by the instructor on what is fair game to discuss. Outside of this, where can young students truly convene and converse? 

I’m not arguing that college student newspapers are truly the last line of defense for free speech, nor am I suggesting that the greatest philosophers of our generation can be found between these pages. However, with dwindling access to public spaces and open forums, I argue that our generation must hold fast to independent student publications. A student newspaper is not expected to follow the same guidelines that restrict major news publications, nor do they suffer from the heavy filters that manipulate online spaces. Each publication is an amalgam of the work of students at all levels. The writers, editors, photographers — they’re all your peers. This is a rare gem among people our age, and something we are not taking advantage of enough. 

At a time where we all may feel too busy and too fatigued by current events to pay much attention to anything, we forget to appreciate what’s going on outside our doors. Our generation is encouraged to disconnect from one another, but here is a golden opportunity to connect once more. These are crucial, formative years with respect to our opinions and the ways we carry ourselves. Now is the time to read and to write and to talk to one another. 

But, then again, my opinion might be a little biased.