This is breaking news…

Have you seen the latest changes to the stock market? Did you know that the foreign markets have the same volatility, which can affect our own stock markets? Who’s the latest entrant in the 2012 Presidential race? When does the new text messaging plans start for AT&T customers? Will they affect current subscribers? Will the University of Miami (FL) have to face penalties for the alleged benefits players received from a former booster? When is Kim Kardashian getting married?

All of these questions and more are considered news. Interest takes part only when someone decides to read the story. News is everything, from politics to technology, sports to fashion, we need information to shape who we are and what interests us as individuals. Information is so powerful in our world today, it can change international financial outlooks, destroy nations and force those once thought to be untouchable out of work.

It is the pace and ease of access that has transformed the world of news from a one page pamphlet into complex Web sites that bring news from every corner of the world. Without this information, humanitarian and rescue efforts may take months to be organized and years to complete whatever goals they had set. The fall of Hosni Mubarak and his 30-year regime fell in what seemed like a matter of weeks. An entire country could not have revolted so quickly, even decades ago. The American Revolution took five years, with many conflicts happening 16 years before the end of the war.

As the next generation, we need to learn how to use this information in the most efficient way possible-to the betterment of our nation and raising our awareness of the world around us. One of my goals in life is to help curtail a growing problem in the news world – those who believe news is opinion only. Once upon a time, columnists and on-air reporters gave the news to the public, offering no opinion, letting their readers and viewers make their own assumptions. Unless the story is an opinion editorial, there should be no bias in reporting the news.

The reason behind this trend is hard to see. Has the technology increased the way we receive information so quickly that we now have to put our own opinion on the news to make it seem more interesting for those watching or listening? Or what I fear most, those reporting the news now use it to become famous. They use it to get more hits on their Web site or sell more copies of their books. Instead of being factual, the news has become a platform for people to create their reputation and use the public for their own gains. That is not what news is for and those doing this should understand the precedent they are setting.

Actions speak louder than words, but those words undoubtedly lead to actions. As individuals, we make our own decisions throughout life, creating our own opinions and living as such. Often times we listen to others who speak well and have ideas that relate to our own, touching upon our problems and how we believe we can solve them. But without doing the research and understanding the information, how can someone blindly accept what others simply speak of? And when these speakers receive power and then promptly do something you don’t like or agree with, do not blame the person in power. They were given this power. We need to learn how to sift through the daily news stories, learn the facts and create our opinions from them. Opinion based off of other opinion is a castle built upon sand.

For myself, it’s working through this precedent that will become the hardest part of what I want to do. The next generations should understand that yelling as loud as you can and saying such extreme things about others is not news. Contacting sources, asking the hard questions, building a completely factual news story and then moving on to the next, regardless of any merits you receive is how the news should be treated. I have already stated this, but it needs to be repeated – information is power.

I would like to believe that these changes I speak of would be easy, but I must not fool you or myself. It will take hard work for those involved in news and myself, but I am willing to go as far as I need to in order to help change this trend and bring news back to its factual roots and the calm, reasonable attitude that it needs to have. Opinions need to be left at the Op. Ed. section and for the debate table. Our newspaper isn’t one long debate, but rather an unbiased telling of the news, filled with local and national topics to give readers the most information our paper can handle. What you read and the opinions you form are solely left to you.