Newspapers and the News

I was listening to the radio this morning and heard a segment discussing newspapers and people’s awareness of the news. The host had read an article in a newspaper stating that 18 to 25 year olds were not aware of what was going on in the world around them, perhaps due to the idea that this demographic does not read newspapers and if anything, selectively gets their news from the Internet. The radio show took 2 random callers and asked them questions about current events in the news. Both callers were very well informed about current events. When asked, neither caller said they read newspapers. Also interesting is that one caller said she never watched televised news, the other rarely. Both callers said they read most of their news on the Internet, with one caller stating she also reads it on her Blackberry.

Of course, this experiment was far from scientific, but it does point out the trend that newspapers are becoming less relevant today, at least in the actual paper form. It also shows that rather than dumbing down society, the ease of information flow that the Internet has enabled may actually make people more aware of current events. Perhaps what we will learn as society transitions to getting their information from the Internet instead of mass media is that the medium makes a difference in whether people are willing to invest their time to receive the information. Just like students who are bored with traditional classroom environments don’t learn very well, when they are presented the same information in an way they find interesting, they are much more receptive and retain the knowledge.

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