Almost every professional will agree being up to date on current events is critical. Within the field of public relations especially, familiarity with the latest headlines is vital. As public relation practitioners it is important because it affects how to go about certain things. If a particular breaking news story affects your client, then you need to be ready with a response or know how to respond under the circumstances. Being well informed about the news and happenings in specific industries is also beneficial when trying to create a pitch or newsworthy angle.
Also, being aware of what is going on makes for great conversation starters. Professors, colleagues, your boss and even your potential job interviewer will appreciate your interest and knowledge with the latest current events. Keeping up with the news is a healthy habit to get in to and it will only be beneficial to you!