The Duke lacrosse scandal. The immigration problem. Bush’s plummeting approval rating.

There are countless issues that are making news and affecting our world every day.

But a recent poll by the University of Toledo indicates that college students may not be taking the news – or their primary news source – very seriously.

In a story from the U-WIRE, students were found to depend heavily on entertainment TV for their news.

“With little or no time to read the newspaper or watch CNN during the day, many students tune in to shows such as ‘The Daily Show,’ ‘The Colbert Report’ or ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’ after the rush of the day subsides,” according to the story.

It also insinuates that college students may have “fallen into a dangerous trend of using such humorous shows as their primary source of news.”

Politics Professor John Orman disagrees.

“There is no cause for concern in our democracy. Many older adults are watching these shows too,” he said. “If the survey showed 90 percent of all young people only get the news from the entertainment shows, then we might be in trouble.”

Fairfield students, however, do not appear to have followed this recent news trend.

“I don’t really watch stuff like that on TV, but I’m on my laptop a lot writing papers and stuff, so it’s just easier to get news offline,” said Stephanie Angelo ’08.

Statistics from the 2006 State of the News Media report concur. The report says, “According to date from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, 41 percent of Americans ages 18 to 34 say the Internet is the most useful way to learn, compared with 15 percent for local television, which ranked second.”

For most students, the Internet consistently overshadows the television as a news outlet.

“Our TV is on 24 hours a day but it rarely changes from ESPN or MTV… the only news I hear is either what teachers mention in class or what I read online,” said John Zanzarella ’08.

Liz Algiere ’07 agrees.

“I mean, it helps that once you log onto the computer all the top stories usually show up on major Web sites,” she said. ” It’s nice, because you can read about the news on your own time.”

But overall, students should be sensible and diligent with what news sources they rely on, according to Communications Professor David Gudelunas.

“Of course, students need to make sure they seek out a well-varied diet of news and information and remain critical. Students should read a newspaper, even if they read it online,” he said.

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