By Melissa Moseley, AP Photo/HBO

This image released by HBO shows Jeff Daniels in a scene from the HBO original series, “The Newsroom.”

HBO’s The Newsroom aired its first season finale last night, wrapping up a controversial season that was the subject of heavy scrutiny since its June premiere. Created by Aaron Sorkin, the series follows a crew of broadcast journalists in their crusade to reform the low standards of cable news.

The Newsroom has come under fire for its aloof portrayal of women and overall preachy nature. In spite of this negative backlash, HBO has renewed the show for a second season.

While it remains to be seen whether Sorkin will appease his critics in the upcoming season, the show has developed a strong following since premiering to an audience of 2.1 million viewers.

For every flaw in an episode of The Newsroom, there are numerous moments of redemption — especially for college students — who can identify with the cast of post-college coworkers driven by career goals and exhausted by the effort of keeping their heads above water in the real world.

Here are four reasons why students should put naysayers’ opinions on the backburner and give The Newsroom a chance.

It covers actual past events in a fictionalized setting.

The stories that the news team covers are real events from recent history — beginning with the BP oil spill in 2010. The use of actual news stories pinpoints the pivotal events of the current news cycle while highlighting topics that continue to be relevant, such as the ongoing financial contributions of the Koch brothers to conservative campaigns.

The quandary of whether or not to stay loyal to an employer may soon hit close to home.

According to Randstad’s Engagement Index, a quarterly study of workers across the United States, 51% of employees surveyed this month plan to explore other job options when the job market picks up.

The question of loyalty recurs throughout The Newsroom, as the reformatted news show faces declining ratings. The young intern-turned-assistant Maggie offers a simple explanation when asked why she refuses to seek a position with a higher-rated show: loyalty. While some consider her foolish for not abandoning a sinking ship, her resolve to stick with her show is respectably daring.

With the 2012 election coming up, the radical nature of the “new debate format” might not be such a bad idea.

Episode nine of The Newsroom introduces a new debate format through which anchor Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, poses debate questions to candidates that are taken directly from their campaign statements and promises.

Unlike traditional political debates that allow candidates to stray from tough topics, the new debate format is merciless in its effort to extract the truth. Although the RNC has denied this debate format, it will be relevant to keep in mind for future elections.

The romantic lives of the characters reflect college hookup trends in a real-world environment.

A couple that keeps breaking up and getting back together, usually while under the influence of alcohol. A friend-zoned guy who lusts after the girl in the aforementioned relationship, but does not have the nerve to tell her how he feels. A pair that is completely broken up, but cannot seem to move on from one another.

Sound familiar? The Newsroom is the workplace equivalent of college — for better or for worse.

Jenna LaConte is a Fall 2012 USA TODAY Collegiate Correspondent. Learn more about her here.

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