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Students rely on untraditional, digital sources for news

Staff Writer

Published: Friday, October 11, 2013

Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 00:10

With over 8,000 “likes” on Facebook, the page UNH Confessions is easily one of the most popular and well-known on campus.

Students frequent the page daily and find themselves laughing over the hilarious posts or feeling comforted by random acts of kindness. Some students now go to the page, as well as to Facebook in general, for a different reason, though – to get the news.

Sophomore Michael Barnard, the creator of UNH Confessions, has recently been posting news on his page as a way of letting Wildcats know what is going on around them. This wasn’t an idea he thought of on his own, though.

“I don’t really go out searching for them,” Barnard said. “In confessions, sometimes people just submit links and I just copy and paste it.”

Recently, UNH Confessions posted a link about the hockey ticket policy change as well as a link about the recovery of Jonathan Zygmont’s body.

Both of these postings on the page prompted a lot of comments from students and created a discussion between them. Having the links available also has more students clicking on them and reading through the news stories.

“Some links are actually to TNH,” Barnard said. “I know people are reading the newspaper, but this brings in traffic to the page too.”

With more students relying on social media for their news, UNH Media Relations is posting more university news on social media sites. UNH uses Twitter and Facebook predominantly, while other news is just posted on the UNH website.

“We don’t rely on one source anymore,” Director of UNH Media Relations Erika Mantz said.

Students aren’t relying on one source anymore either, though some say that they don’t even go looking for the news.

They just happen to see it when they go online.

“I don’t look for the news,” senior Jeannine Louro said. “I get it when other people talk about it.”

Senior Amy Arsenault has similar experiences when getting the news, saying that when she first hears of something, it’s usually on Facebook.

“When something first happens, that’s how I hear,” Arsenault said. “I still read the news, but initially I hear about it on social media.”

Junior Evan Mikulich gets his news in a similar way, although he usually hears through word of mouth before he sees it on social media.

“I usually hear things through the grapevine and if it’s really intriguing, I’ll go look it up,” Mikulich said.

Living in such a digital age, it’s not surprising that so many students rely solely on social media for their news.

Many students are on social media sites a lot during the day so it is easy to see how this becomes the main place they check to learn about what’s going on.

“It’s convenient. With Facebook, everyone is just logged on and with the news feed option, they don’t have to type in any links,” Barnard said.

Barnard thinks that this says something about the current generation and where it’s headed.

As both the world and technology change, people need to adapt.

“For the people who haven’t switched over to the online world, then they probably should get on it,” Barnard said.

Mantz agrees about how things have changed and it’s one of the main reasons why UNH is adapting and giving students news in new ways.

“I think it’s just a changing time and students are getting their news in different ways,” Mantz said.

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