Panel Discussion Scheduled for National News Engagement Day

Panelists will discuss making news a national priority in the age of social media.

Panelists will discuss making news a national priority in the age of social media.

The Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication will partner with the Society of Professional Journalists to celebrate the first National News Engagement Day. A panel discussion will take place at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 7) in the Red Raider Ballroom in the Student Union Building.

Sponsored by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, National News Engagement Day is a day when everyone can appreciate the news and its value. The panel discussion will include both news professionals and students. Panelists will participate in thought-provoking discussion, and the audience is encouraged to join them.

“Our problem is that it's really tough to get folks in the millennial generation to pay attention to the news,” said Kelly Kaufhold, assistant professor of journalism and electronic media and moderator of the panel. “So it's really important for us to find, and even experiment with, diverse ways to get young people to follow and share news, whether it's reading, watching, tweeting, liking or commenting.”

More than 41 states and several other countries already have pledged to participate, according to the National News Engagement Day website.

The Pew Research Center found news is not in the lives of about 30 percent of young adults. Therefore, the National News Engagement Day is meant to bring attention to news and why it's important to be informed in the 21st century.

“This dedicated day is an opportunity to focus on the values of the First Amendment and how news comes to us every day,” Brian Williams, NBC anchor, mentioned in his comments on National News Engagement Day.

Texas Tech students are encouraged to use #NewsTTU or #newsengagementday hashtags to express their thoughts about news today and what they feel the main purpose of the news is in the modern society.

“News is very important in our daily lives,” said Katelynne Newman, co-manager of the Outpost Social Media Lab in the College of Media & Communication. “Social media gives me the ability to engage with the world and keeps me updated on the topics and issues in the news I'm particularly interested in.”

Kaufhold warned, “When young people avoid news, it's a problem for the news industry, but it's a problem for society, too. We want people to be informed when they make decisions, like who to vote for or where to do business. News helps weave us into the fabric of society, so it's vital that we get people engaged so they're part of that, so they aren't left out.”

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CONTACT: Todd Chambers, chairman, Department of Journalism and Electronic Media, College of Media & Communication, Texas Tech University, (806) 834-5712 or todd.chambers@ttu.edu.