Five ways to stay informed. Dutch News in English
02.04.2020
Social activities
Studying in Netherlands as an international student possesses many difficulties, some of these are often not related to studying. A common example of this is finding yourself out of the loop and then determining the best way to be informed, especially during COVID-19. As helpful as some of your friends and university staff may be, it is important to be self-reliant. At Student-Helpr, we know how distressing and confusing this can be and we are here to help with today’s blog: Five ways to stay informed

One - Mainstream media

This resource is the main source of information for most people. Alike in your home country, Dutch news is available from both domestic sources and international sources, these include:

Domestic https://nltimes.nl/ https://www.dutchnews.nl/ https://www.iamexpat.nl/expat-info/dutch-expat-news/news

International https://www.euronews.com/tag/netherlands https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cvenzmgywd2t/netherlands

The main differences to keep in mind between domestic and international sources include the frequency of reporting local news and how specific the report is. For example, domestic sources are often more active than international sources and domestic news agencies generally provide more specific reporting to inform their domestic audience.

Two - Informative resources

Informative resources for the purpose of this blog are those which fall outside of mainstream news agencies. These resources are often used as a source for mainstream news reporting and have their own websites and social media pages. Within this resource, the official site of your university is included. Relevant resources applicable for information regarding COVID-19, include:

Government

National Institute of Health and The Environment (RIVM)

Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)

Three - Social media

Social media is a fantastic tool to gauge what the general opinion of society is and can often provide timely updates. Be warned, social media is widely unvetted, English can be lacking and is the equivalent to listening to a stranger in a bar. We discuss further in the blog how to validate information. Some examples of social media pages which assist in being kept informed include: https://www.reddit.com/r/thenetherlands/ https://9gag.com/netherlands Social media pages of the embassy of your home country Social media pages of aforementioned local government departments and your university.

Four - Setting up a news feed

Now we have provided some examples of where to look, we move onto how to organise it. There are multiple newsfeed options and all of the feeds we present in this blog, at the time of writing are free and can be used without creating an account.

Google news - is easy to set up and adjust the search parameters. It will include domestic and international resources. Set it up based on your needs with the following instruction links: Computer https://bit.ly/2UzgJhg Google play https://bit.ly/2UyQwPI Apple https://apple.co/3dNQiMs

Microsoft news - as a mobile application, this is intuitive, and you can easily select which news sources you can add to your feed. This application shows various news resources we discussed above from top-notch journalist around the world.
Google Play https://bit.ly/39yzJ3z Apple https://apple.co/2UC8OzO

Flipboard - is an application where you can adjust your news feed and search for different topics, you can adjust your feed to include social media and magazine releases. However, we found that this application would not show the news channels we discussed above. Google Play https://bit.ly/2UUVFRd Apple https://apple.co/3aFBxck

Five - Validating information

Now back to that stranger in the bar we referred to earlier. You do not know this person and they may seem a bit intoxicated or opinionated, why would you trust everything they say? Well, that would be foolish, it is wise to practice critical thinking and validate the information this stranger is providing.

This section introduces source validation and content verification. For the purpose of this blog, source validation is relevant to determining if the source and the author are reputable and learning to find a bias. Bias is very important to be aware of, as this can shape the tone and how the information is presented to match a motive or ideology of the source.

Content validation is relevant to what is presented within the news report. An important lesson to convey is, do not rely on automatic translators. Automatic translators make direct translations and often miss the appropriate context. They will only get you so far. An example of this is when one of our writers was applying for a job in a hotel. Google translated a part of the job description that it was expected of the applicant to ‘sex guarantee the quality of the rooms.’ Years later, no one knows what that means nor has the writer had to conduct this task. Within content validation, it is important to note the date of the report and which sources are used to create the report. To consolidate this, Monmouth University in The United States of America developed the CRAAP test to validate resources, it is a pretty nifty guide for students to use, not only for media but also for research.

We hope you learnt something new while reading this blog. If you have any questions? Feel free to contact us at Student-Helpr (info@studenthelpr.nl) and we will happily assist you.

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