Market Watch reported that the rise of so-called fake news is producing a record number of journalism majors. The publication quoted one young person who said students are concerned they have not been paying attention and have not held politicians accountable for their actions.
Market Watch also reported this is not the first indication that the current political climate is boosting the news business. It pointed out some news outlets have enjoyed substantial increases in subscriptions since President Trump’s election.
Shop Talk panelist Will Buss said it is encouraging to learn more students are feeling a need to get involved and are choosing to do that by studying journalism. He said the nation can always use more journalists.
As for the increase in subscriptions, Buss said it demonstrates the value of legacy media and real journalism.
Panelist Jasmine Crighton said the rise in subscriptions is fantastic – she said we need more people paying attention to the news. She said that’s good for the news industry and good for democracy.
Crighton said there are plenty of issues affecting young people now and perhaps they’re realizing the need to pay attention, which might help explain the rise in journalism majors.
Panelist Rich Egger said he was a teenager when Watergate happened, and as that story unfolded he learned how people in power could be held accountable by journalists. He said some of the outright lies told by politicians today might be inspiring a new generation to follow in the footsteps of Woodward and Bernstein.
Jasmine Crighton is News Director of NEWS3 at Western Illinois University and Will Buss is the Director of Student Publications at WIU.