In the middle of the 2020's chaos, a new word found its way into our collective lexicon — doomscrolling. For those who haven’t heard of it before, doomscrolling is that compulsion we get to check Twitter, Facebook or news sites when stress-inducing headlines are highest.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the negativity, especially when each page refresh gives rise to more uncertainty about COVID-19 or our nation’s political tensions. But my newsfeed isn’t all doom and gloom — it’s also a regular reminder of the important role our college’s alumni play in understanding the world around us and overcoming adversity.
Elections are an especially powerful example of this. From start to finish, the democratic process is heavily influenced by information and communications professionals.
On the communications side, our public relations alumni are often the ones driving political strategy or managing crisis communications. Our advertising alumni are developing targeted ad campaigns — both print and digital — and our vis comm alumni bring those ideas to life. That story you read in The Washington Post or saw on CNN is brought to you by journalism graduates whose efforts keep you and other voters informed. And our multitalented mass communications graduates do all of these things and more.
On the LIS side, librarians work tirelessly to make information accessible, and they promote the critical thinking skills needed to understand it. Archivists ensure that our nation’s political history is not lost. And data scientists play a critical role in helping us make sense of chaos — sometimes they even predict what’s next.
On both sides, our two professions are united by our efforts to stem mis- and disinformation and by our belief that democracy is stronger when people have the information they need to make decisions.
And within our buildings, our faculty work diligently to impart these lessons and skills to our students so that the next generation can continue making a meaningful impact on society.
The past year has not been easy, but it has reminded me of why what we do at the CIC is so important. And I hope you’ll remember that, too — not just on Election Day, but every day.
Forever to thee,