How to be a smart consumer of media

CATEGORIES: Student Perspective

Editor’s note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa State University has moved all spring 2020 courses to virtual instruction for the remainder of the semester. Students in Assistant Professor Laura Witzling and Assistant Teaching Professor Beth Haag’s Public Relations Writing (P R 321) courses wrote blog posts about how COVID-19 has affected their lives for the Greenlee School student experience blog. This post has been published with permission. 

Izacc’s Quisling completed the remainder of the spring semester from the desk in his apartment.

By Izacc Quisling
junior in public relations

If someone had told me that I would be spending the better half of my first year at Iowa State isolating myself in my bedroom I probably wouldn’t have believed a word you were saying. I come to you from my home desk which has become my work-space for all my classes, work and anything else going on in my life at the moment.

As I reflect on what I’ve taken from the halls of Hamilton, and applied that knowledge to my apartment on the other side of Ames, I am very grateful for what I did learn while still going to class on campus.

One thing I learned is how to be a smart consumer of media.

When I see that headline pop up on my phone, here are a couple of things I consider before I post to my feed:

  • Read beyond the headline. I make sure I am reading the full article before I take the headline at face value. For example, if a headline suggested there were a large number of COVID-19 related deaths in one day, I could read the entire article and discover that the headline included total COVID-19 related deaths which equated to a large number. Context is important for understanding the bigger picture.
  • Fact-check – Then fact check again. I was especially worried about this when I was curious about the measures I needed to be taking in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is also helpful to avoid any panic or confusion there may be about social distancing or self-quarantining.

These are both important tips I have used during my experience with day-to-day life while living during the COVID-19 health pandemic. Overall I have made sure to check highly credible websites for current information. My personal go-tos include John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center and watching KCCI for important news updates related to the state of Iowa.

While I miss my classmates and the sun hitting my face as I walk across campus while the campanile chimes in the background, I’m doing my best to keep myself and others safe by taking safe social measures like grocery shopping for both my roommate and myself on a single designated day of the week so only one of us goes to the store at a time.

I hope everyone reading this finds you in good health and clean hands!

headshot of Izaac Quisling

Izacc Quisling is a transfer student studying public relations at Iowa State, where he participates in student organizations like TREND magazine as a director for the Trend For Men: Runway committee and The Fashion Show as a member of the Public Relations/Marketing Committee. In his free time, he enjoys perusing all creative endeavors and opportunities that Iowa State has to offer.