There is an interesting article on Time.com this morning. It discusses the results of a study commissioned by the Associated Press. Apparently, our youth are having a hard time consuming news, or at least the ‘right’ news, which I presume concerns the AP.
The endless stream of information being thrust at them on the Internet has turned them into skim readers. Just pick up the headline and move on. AP is concerned that youth won’t understand the depth of news issues if they don’t read past that first paragraph. In fact, in the 5th paragraph of the article, it states that if you are still reading at this point, you are probably over 34. (I’m well over 34.)
My personal contention is that news agencies aren’t delivering a product our youth want to read, and the problem isn’t our youth as much as it is the press. In my own youth, I recall being upset by some stories, but I always assumed the press reported the truth, which they continued to tell me was their hard and fast rule. I no longer believe they report the uncolored truth, and our youth certainly don’t believe it.
New Yorker magazine slipped a reporter into a campus “lingerie” party last year. It was party that was an old tradition at one of the clubs, where the students dress in underwear or pajamas. My son attended that party and said it was fun, but certainly nothing scandalous. New Yorker took some clandestine pictures and said otherwise in an “expose”. Students were not particularly outraged, they simply asked the local bookstores to move the New Yorker magazine from the news racks to the scandal magazine racks, which the bookstores did.
Regaining trust is a hard thing to do. Our news agencies often compromise themselves, and may need to re-earn their stripes with the same youth they claim are just skim readers.