News Engagement Initiative Used to Entertain and Inform Students

Taylor Zavala
News Director

Today is News Engagement Day, an initiative aimed at getting young adults to become more engaged in current events. There will be a booth outside of the LBJ Student Center from noon to one, where students can play a game similar to Cash Cab, and answer current event questions to win prizes. 

Birds-eye view of students near the LBJ student center. Photo by Nathalie Cohetero
Photo by Nathalie Cohetero

News Engagement Day is an initiative started by the President of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, Dr. Kelly Kaufhold, is the committee executive for News Engagement Day and hopes his booth will help inform and engage young adults, saying “The big picture is to always have a more informed democracy. So what I want is more young people, more Americans in general to be more engaged in an informed democracy. I want them to participate. I want them to talk issues and politics with their friends, and neighbors and family members. I want them to vote. I want them to get excited about being a part of society.”

Though Dr. Kaufhold began teaching at Texas State University in January, he anticipates the responses he’ll receive from students regarding the current events questions he plans on asking. Based on previous research Dr. Kaufhold has conducted where he performed similar news engagement with students, he says his success rates usually lead to two conclusions: an increase in the participating students knowledge, and students becoming more involved in the news because of an increased interest.

One of Dr. Kaufhold’s goals for news engagement is to increase students interests in news and current events so that interest will spill into the future, saying “I want to have students, and others more informed, but I actually want to get students more engaged with the news over a longer period of time. I want them to pick that habit up and keep that habit up, as they go through life. And that’s the big goal of news engagement day, I’m just trying to find creative, entertaining, more engaging ways to get that to happen.”

Topics included in the News Engagement rendition of Cash Cab will include: politics, local Austin and San Antonio news, sports, business and international affairs. Dr. Kaufhold also mentioned that if he’s feeling generous, he’ll allow students participating to ask for certain topics.

Dr. Kaufhold also hopes students will use the #newsengagementday along with #TXST and hashtag #SJMCTXST to promote News Engagement Day.

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