The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The crew of Egg Drop Soup poses with director Yang (bottom, center).
SMU student film highlights the Chinese-American experience
Lexi Hodson, Contributor • May 16, 2024
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Why read?

Written news provides more depth, mental stimulation

We don’t think people should quit watching television. It is by far the best means of getting a large amount of information in a short amount of time. However, it is unable to provide the depth and intellectual fodder found in most printed news sources.

Look at business news. At any given moment, there aren’t just feature news stories but also tickers and stock market indicators.

However, we do believe these may distract viewers, causing them to miss an important point.

Time constraints also force TV news to use the “best” image to express what’s happening. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Often the clip is not representative of the average but of the extreme.

There is an obvious reason for this, namely that humans are inclined to ask, “Well, just how bad is it?”

TV journalism faces difficulties as well. In an effort to present both sides of an issue in a very short time, programs often show only the most outspoken advocates of two – rarely all – sides.

This is a problem because often the best course of action requires not the extreme but a more moderate solution.

However, this isn’t the only problem facing television journalism. TV news is on such a mass scale that information flow becomes almost all one-directional.

First, it’s harder to imagine something happening in another country or state than it is to imagine something happening at a local mall.

Also, being unable to interact with the information provider directly makes it more difficult to examine credibility, express dissatisfaction or see a change because of one’s own actions.

Newspapers, magazines and blogs all have apparent means of interacting with the user. How many TV news programs feature a letter to the editor portion?

Reading stimulates the mind in a way television often does not. All too often one is separated from the situation by a screen.

Since reading provides fewer images, readers are forced to imagine the situation themselves. This makes them more empathetic because they are imagining themselves in the situation rather than just seeing it. Just think of the difference between reading a book and watching a movie.

Also reading is just more interactive. It’s easy to zone out while watching something. It’s impossible to do this while reading. Well, not impossible, but you won’t be reading, whereas you could keep sitting in front of the box.

And the most important reason to read is because of the greater depth that the printed word provides. It isn’t faced with a time constraint, so there is more room to discuss all sides of an issue.

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