Why All Young Women Professionals Should Read the News

Reading the news keeps you up-to-date on current events, your favorite comics and the weather.

But there are even more benefits specific to today’s young woman professional, who is still, despite decades of women’s advocacy, fighting to be treated in the same manner as the young working man.

As you jump into the next week of your work and social life, consider all these things that reading the news can do for you — as a woman, as a working professional and simply as a person.

It Helps You Form a Truth-Based Opinion

Even if you don’t read the news firsthand, you hear news stories all the time — from friends, from social media, from colleagues. But what you may not realize as you’re listening to these versions of the news is that they’re just that — versions.

When you rely on knowing the news from friends, social media and certain TV programs, what you’re often hearing is a version of a news story.

If it’s not coming from a trusted or authoritative news source with proven investigative journalism, that source might be biased or blatantly incorrect.

Remember all that fake news and supposedly authoritative sources passed around on the Internet before the November election? Yea, you don’t want to fall prey to that.

If you merely listen others without fact-checking for yourself, you’re cheating yourself out of a great gift — media literacy. The gift of the truth, and therefore, your own opinion.

Vet the storytellers you listen to. Understand their credentials, and if these credentials are legitimate. Read multiple news sources — not just one. This way, when you hear news, you’ll have your own unique and solid opinion, and you’ll know whether or not the version you’re hearing is based on fact.

It Makes You a Better Citizen of the World

Reading the news regularly has its benefits beyond home and work. It makes you a better citizen of the world.

What does this mean, you ask? Simple. Being a true citizen of the world means that, rather than living by the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, you can empathize with people on the other side of the planet as you stay up-to-date with their hardships and triumphs.

You can then use that empathy and knowledge to connect with those around you or even to actually do something proactive, should you feel the urge.

A beautifully depicted story about the scenery in Ireland or the fun of Germany’s Oktoberfest might just lead you to plan an excellent vacation.

Or — a tragic story showing what happens to children in war zones might move you to get involved in volunteering at a human rights non-profit or sponsoring such an orphan.

No matter where the stories lead you, it pays to get outside your own bubble and be a citizen of the world.

It Makes You More Assertive in and out of the Office

In understanding the world through various trusted news sources, you become more compelled to defend your opinions, interpretations and beliefs, making you an all-around more assertive communicator and a more confident opinion holder.

Your global perspective lends itself to understanding the world around you and how each action or decision impacts businesses and lives. That’s a valuable mentality and communication skillset to have.

These traits — assertiveness, confidence and a world view — have traditionally been associated with masculinity. Today, though, they’re traits that, when used appropriately by women professionals, can lead to respect in the workplace and often raises and promotions.

So as you read and react to the news, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your opinion matters, and when you can speak intelligently on world events, you can win respect from colleagues and friends alike.

It Allows You to Connect More Authentically With Others

Of course, one of the greatest advantages of reading the news is being able to connect with fellow newsreaders across different topics.

Think of the classic conversational fallback when neither converser has something to say — “nice weather we’re having today, isn’t it?” This fallback works because both parties know that the other has seen today’s weather.

Conversing about the news is much the same. Once it’s established that another person is familiar with the story you want to discuss, the conversation takes off easily.

Talking about a topic becomes much more interesting when you can relate to what someone is saying. This is another reason why it’s so important for you to read the news, stay curious and be willing to learn about other topics.

If all you have to say to your fellow converser is “Oh wow, that’s interesting,” then you’re not taking full advantage of the great wide world of discussion and argument that news awareness has to offer.

With a general love of knowledge in your arsenal, you can truly and authentically connect with those who share in your opinion. Or even connect with those who disagree.

It’s Free Education

A great benefit of reading the news is simply learning. Reading improves your cognitive and linguistic abilities — including your ability to focus and your ability to comprehend. Not to mention your ability to win at Scrabble.

You should never stop striving to learn more, and the news world is ever-changing. There’s always something new to learn about what’s going on in the world, and new lessons to learn from those stories.

Think about it. Say you read a story about the overbearing dictatorship of Country X — there are hundreds of them out there. Take your pick. You start to think to yourself, “Man this sounds familiar. Didn’t I read a book just like this in high school?” Then you look back at your old copies of Animal Farm and 1984 and think, “Dang! Orwell really knew what he was talking about!”

With your interest freshly piqued and your literature references at the ready, not only have you unwittingly educated yourself about a current event and made a major connection between it and the cautionary tales you read in high school, but on top of all that, you’ve got fresh ammo to discuss — or argue — these points with your fellow newsreaders.

It Lets You Know Things That Impact Your Everyday Life

Many will argue that the news’s impact on your own life is the most obvious reason to read the news. You already know that looking at the weather forecast prepares you for how you need to dress and whether you should cancel that trip to the beach.

But since you’ve already considered how reading the news makes you a better communicator, opinion-holder, empathizer, arguer, global citizen and even workplace go-getter, it can’t hurt to consider the more self-serving benefits as well.

Reading the news allows you to prepare for the repercussions of political action, to brace yourself for ridicule when a celebrity you like does something stupid, to job hunt more effectively, to get inspired, to find out where to donate your old coats and spare canned goods — the list goes on.

It’s Just Plain Interesting

Perhaps the most compelling reason for many newsreaders to read is the fact that newspapers offer such a wide variety of content that there’s something in there for just about everyone. Those stories that might inspire you to travel or volunteer — they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

Some people rush to the sports section upon waking, others to the international section and still others to the local news. And let’s not forget about the joys of comic strips and crossword puzzles.

No matter what draws you in, though, you can feed your specific interests by picking up — or, more likely, scrolling through — that newspaper.  And in this age of stories lacking credibility, it’s easy to verify stories with a fact collection website or fact checking website.

With so many reasons to read, why stop here? Head over to your local bookstore, library or grocery store to grab the local or national paper. While you’re at it, purchase a subscription —digital or print — to actively feed your reading habits.

Sarah Landrum

After graduating from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR, Sarah moved to Harrisburg to start her career as a Digital Media Specialist and a writer. She later founded Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to helping young professionals navigate the work world and find happiness and success in their careers.

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