• Jonathan Zhou & Skye Franklin

How does Stevenson read news?

The internet has opened up a large variety of news sources, and the news people read is becoming tailored to their opinion. Now, it is more important than ever to have a diverse source of information.


However, few actively attempt to search for both sides of a story. According to a recent survey of Stevenson School, only 25 percent of high school students actively attempt to observe a story through multiple perspectives, and over half of the students only obtain news from a single source.



Many students recognize the importance of identifying and understanding both sides of the story, but refuse to gather additional information for a variety of reasons. Many students simply prefer to save their time, and would rather use the time spent searching for multiple sources on homework or other activities. However, most students have deeper concerns. Skye Franklin, a senior at Stevenson School, finds that, “It's very divided and people need to remember that news stations are really just a company trying to make money with the biggest headlines.” They have lost faith in news stations, and no longer trust the honesty of the news.

Additionally, students also believe that the news is filled with negativity, saying, “I think usually a lot of stress is in the news.” The amalgamation of feeling stress and disturbed when reading the news, typically overwhelms people and leads them to avoid the news.


A large number of news sources rely on shared outrage to retain their audience. They have discovered that anger is one of the best ways to retain their audience. Many understand this, saying, “It’s more infuriating rather than factual.” Few students are optimistic about the current state of news, yet less than one percent avoided news. Clearly, despite the issues created by news stations retaining viewers in such a manner, relying on shared outrage proved effective at maintaining the size of their audience.


Many believe that news aggregators, such as Apple News, give a more balanced perspective, as they gather information from multiple sources. However, they use similar methods as many other news stations to retain their audience. Aggregators tend to show news based on the user's previous activity; clicking on a one article results in similar ones appearing, which results in articles with another perspective slowly disappearing.


However, a sizable portion of students believe that the news is becoming less polarized. According to one student, “As of late, it has improved quite substantially since the election.” These students believe that the news is mostly divided through political issues, saying “It's biased on both sides, conservative or liberal.” They feel that after the election, news stations no longer take a political stance, and are attempting to raise their credibility through less biased reporting.


Lastly, there is another group that refuses to search for both sides because they are offended or upset by reading perspectives they disagree with. A participant of the survey said, “I think it’s sad how the LEFTIST LAMESTREAM media has sent false news on things like this election. We need to send out the truth!” Naturally, the participant who responded in such a manner did not search for both sides of a story.


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