Bad News and Its Effects On Student Journalist



Recently more and more student journalist are being affected by bad news negatively,

Tomas Sanchez Jurado, Reporter

One of the journalistic principles, and one of the most important, is unbiased honesty. When we report, we have to report the truth, and the truth can sometimes be very negative. The media we consume daily has an impact on many aspects of our life like thinking, behavior, emotions. If you regularly watch or listen to the news, especially during this time, the majority of your consumption is negative. Wars, fights, bills, death, pandemics. The news world has never been as overwhelming.

According to the pew research center, Gen z is “less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to be enrolled in college. Among 18- to 21-year-olds no longer in high school in 2018, 57% were enrolled in a two-year or four-year college. This compares with 52% among Millennials in 2003 and 43% among members of Gen X in 1987.” This proves that generation z is more educated and in par keeps up with recent news.

So a more educated generation would have more happiness and less stress right? Nope.

As students, especially journalists, we are in an even more uncompromising position than past generations. With the youth being diagnosed with more and more mental illnesses, it’s clear that the brains of the youth are changing, and the bleak reality of the world is making us feel bad.

According to psychotherapist Annie Miller, “consuming news can activate the sympathetic nervous system, which causes your body to release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Then, when a crisis is happening, and we are experiencing this stress response more frequently.” Miller says physical symptoms may arise. Some of the most common symptoms are fatigue, anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping.

I talked to one of my editors about this subject. As an editor you have to stay up to date with the news and be very well informed. It is a necessity since they direct us on how to push out the best articles we can write as a ledger. So I wondered; How would bad news affect a 15-year old copy editor?

When asked about their view about the current situation of the world, OCSA ledger copy editor Halle Saldivia stated “Its sort of like a mess because there is just so much coming at you that it’s hard to keep track of everything.” Our conversation continues and Halle touched on being an informed individual and I asked her if the knowledge has impacted her in a negative way. “Sometimes I get these bouts of anxiety that the world is a crappy place to live in.” Halle continues “I realized how bad the world can be, and before then I just looked the other way… but now that I’m in journalism I’ve realized that there’s a lot of bad stuff in the world that I just didn’t realize before.”

Yet this issue isn’t just negative, information and knowledge can also be useful. Halle states “but it has impacted me positively because I know all this stuff, I’m able to get a better understanding about the world … its sort of like a double-edged sword.”