An Alternative to the Common

I was riding the 135 up the mountain to school last week when I saw a copy of the Metro Newspaper on a seat beside me. I picked it up to read and got to thinking that, as a young person, I hardly read the newspaper at all, and when I do, it’s always either The Province, The 24, The Metro or The Globe and Mail. I guess I always get my news from my friends or parents unless a major event occurs that I can’t help but notice.

It got me thinking though, I should be more educated about what’s going on in my world and I should be sourcing out information instead of relying on what’s being handed to me on a bus.  What other news information is out there for me?

I got to school and opened up my MacBook and searched the words “alternative press” in Google. I was excited to see an abundance of hits offering me alternative media.

I decided to check out UTNE Reader because, well, it seemed like a cool name and I didn’t know where else to start. I was surprised to see a very attractive online magazine (there’s a physical magazine as well) that offered insight into the world of environment, spirituality, politics, art, media and science and technology. Their knowledge database seemed immense and well researched – I found articles on topics and issues I wasn’t even aware existed.

One article that grabbed my attention was a writer’s take on What Happens After Global Warming. He offered insight into the future that I had never considered before and introduced it in a clear and accessible way. It made me really consider my impact on the Earth – I took a hard look at my carbon footprint with a sense of urgency. There’s a lot of new and exciting information available and it’s definitely worth the search.

I think that the idea of an online magazine is brilliant because students spend so much time nowadays on our laptops that our world is immersed in Internet-based information. The thing about alternative press is, print is a dying medium (even big magazines struggle to stay in print) and on top of that, alternative press isn’t the most popular form of news media out there. Understandably, alternative press needs the support of its readers. Because of this, I think it’s quite important to purchase a physical copy of the magazine – you’ll help support their cause and give your eyes a break from your computer screen for a while!

If this is just one of the options out there for alternative media, imagine what else we can find on the World Wide Web. A different approach or angle on an article is a good thing – in many ways, we are spoon-fed information from the channels that are easiest to access, and left unaware of other views or ways of communicating. It’s time to open our eyes and try something new! Why not start with an alternative to your everyday news source? Sounds like a great idea to me!

By Melissa Kennedy

Image Credit: Jon Reinfurt