JWN: Where People Get Their News

When asked about their news consumption, JWN guests’ answers vary

By: Rachel Ibanez

EUGENE, Ore.- On Friday afternoon, guests of the Jefferson Westside Neighbors neighborhood spoke about how they consume their news. These interviews showed that in a world that seems addicted to the internet, not all people get their information through that seemingly popular medium.

According to a study done by Pew Research Center in 2012, Americans use the internet to consume news more than they do television, radio or printed publications. The interviews conducted with the people wandering in the Jefferson Westside Neighborhood do not necessarily support this research.

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Matt Sandler and a friend play basketball at a JWN park

Matt Sandler, a professor with the University of Oregon’s Robert D. Clark Honor’s College who was playing basketball with a friend at a small park on the corner of Madison Street and W 12th Avenue, said that he gets his news from websites like Twitter, New York Times, Gawker and CNN. Sandler also said that it fascinates him that some people get their news from amateurs. He said, “I think it’s interesting that when current events are unfolding, you go to the person who’s closest to it, whether they’re professional or not.” Sandler sounded skeptical about the idea of journalism done by the average person and he does not believe that we have a reliable news source like Walter Cronkite was in the 1960s and 70s. “I don’t think we have that person anymore. John Stewart is the closest thing,” he said while laughing with his friend.

Some of JWN's local businesses

Some of JWN’s local businesses

Collin Rau, a Eugene business owner who does not live in the area, said that he doesn’t pay attention to the news due to a busy work schedule. Using the example of the missing Malaysian airplane, Rau said that he did not know about it until a co-worker mentioned it. “It’s not because I’m ignorant- I like the news. I just, you know, don’t have time,” Rau said. Rau also said that he loves the idea of citizen journalism. “I think that sounds great,” he said, “Because the mass media is so influenced and money driven. I think passion really comes, you know, at the ground level.”

While Sandler’s news preferences seem to match up with the Pew Research Center’s study, not all people feel the same way. Esteban Camacho, a Eugene resident getting dinner with a friend in JWN, enjoys getting his news from the radio and the newspaper. He likes listening to the University of Oregon’s radio station, KWVA.

In regards to the news, Rau said, “I think people are addicted to it. They’re addicted to drama and get really detached from what’s really going on.”

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