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During spring break, I woke up to my father watching live coverage of White House press secretary Robert Gibbs delivering his daily briefing. I sat down and attempted to change the channel while my dad wasn’t looking — alas, my plan was thwarted.

So, I was stuck watching Gibbs field questions from the eager press. Though I sat down feeling skeptical about the worth of the conference, I was pleasantly surprised.

Two years ago, I would have simply left the room if then-press secretary Dana Perino was speaking. I realize now that listening to Gibbs is not only critical to understanding the precarious position of the country and the solutions sought, it’s also kind of entertaining.

(To be fair, Perino wasn’t necessarily a snooze-fest. On Oct. 24, 2007, she defended global warming saying, “[M]any people die from cold-related deaths every winter. And there are studies that say that climate change in certain areas of the world would help those individuals. There are also concerns that it would increase tropical diseases and that’s — again, I’m not an expert in that.” Thank you, Ms. Perino, for keeping us awake with your life-saving understanding of a major environmental hazard.)

Though Gibbs did not try to convince the assembled press that global warming is the solution to the epic economic recession (let’s escape the heat by going to the mall: shop, baby, shop!), he wasn’t boring.

Boring is the idea that comes to mind when we think of legislative sessions broadcast on C-SPAN, and let’s face it — it’s not exactly like watching “Die Hard.”

But not all news is a snooze-fest. Gibbs was quick to lighten the mood during his press conference, but steady in his mission to explain the president’s positions on critical issues.

All too often it is simply easier to switch off the news and turn on something light hearted. But sometimes watching two episodes of “Scrubs” just doesn’t have the same impact as watching CNN.

Luckily, you don’t have to give up a few laughs to get some news. Gibbs works for the man with probably the most stressful job on the planet. So if he can get a few laughs out of journalists, whose jobs probably aren’t all that uplifting in current times, then we can probably survive watching a few press conferences or getting email updates from CNN. Being informed is the first step to being the solution.

College is a time to discover the impact (hopefully positive) that we can make on the world. It’s worth knowing what is going on in that world, or at very least, the country.

If you’re really afraid of losing an hour or two of laughs, try watching commentators like Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews. They spread the news in attention-grabbing ways and always with interesting and pertinent guests. Though they are commentators, they’re a lot better than C-SPAN, Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh (who has blatantly expressed his desire for President Barrack Obama’s administration to fail).

If you do choose a commentator route, try to be fair and balanced in your approach, and corroborate facts with an unbiased news source, often those that are based out of the country are much more reliable.

We simply cannot afford to be poorly or incorrectly informed at this critical juncture in American history.

Indra is sitting back and tuning into “The Rachel Maddow Show.” E-mail her your favorite news story at

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