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How a diversity of news sources can help student education


Keeping up with current events and news media is beneficial to student learning and helps with critical thinking and general knowledge. With social media becoming the hub of information for the digitally based younger generation, many students are trading traditional news outlets for their favourite online content creators.

Social media platforms like TikTok have made it easier for students to engage in current affairs, however, these apps have their downsides and can leave students in a bubble of information.

To get the best for their education and learning, having a diversity of news sources and a balanced understanding of topical issues is crucial.

Young people are getting their news from TikTok

While parents and peers do play their part, research has found that young Australians and students are largely getting their news from social media, with TikTok being by far the most popular.

Australian news media has underrepresented young people, and the topics they care about, and TikTok has attracted younger audiences with its relatable influencers, entertaining content, and the variety of topics discussed on the platform.

However, platforms like TikTok are powered by algorithms that control and select what users see on their news feeds. If students use them as their main news source, it may be harder to engage and understand topics beyond their communities and interests.

A valuable practice for student learning

Providing the context of what and why things are happening across the world, traditional news media is still a valuable resource for educators and students.

Opening up awareness of world issues allows students to understand issues that not only affect them but others. This broader perspective is important for students to not only navigate academics but the world, and by having facts uninfluenced by their opinions students are equipped to identify misinformation.

By viewing and reading the developed arguments, complex language, and structured writing of professional news media, students are also exposed to the communication skills needed to craft high-quality essays and reports. Quality storytelling in journalism can bring topics to life which promotes further discussions in the classroom and help form deeper connections between students and their curriculum.

What news sources should students use?

Students today face a never-ending choice of content, and outside of newspapers and the nightly news bulletin, there are many great options to stay informed on current events.

Traditional news media

Many news organisations have established themselves on social media making their content more accessible than ever for students.

Youtube has become the digital home of many Australian newspapers, with outlets including News.com.au, The Age, ABC News, and The Australian providing short-form and longer videos of the news. Even more recently companies like The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and SBS News have followed the trend towards TikTok with bite-sized snippets of news stories.


Current affairs podcasts like The Squiz, The Full Story, The Briefing, and The Daily Aus let students tune into the news on the go through audio streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.

TV Programs

Modern TV programming has made keeping up with the news engaging and fun, and shows like Have You Been Paying Attention, The Weekly, and The Cheap Seats combine humorous comedy with the latest updates in the news cycle.

Independent media

Independent outlets like The Daily Aus are gearing the news towards the younger generation, covering topics that matter to young people, in language and formats the student understands.

Alternatively, satirical publications such as The Betoota Advocate, The Chaser, and The Shovel put a spin on current events and broader social observations, which allow students to enjoy the news in a fun lighthearted way.

So what is the best source of news for students?

The simple answer is more than one. Consuming a variety of sources is the key to giving students balanced and accurate perspectives on different issues and helping improve their education.

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