Monday, January 17, 2011

Value in reading the news

Getting students to pay attention to news coverage can be a challenge. As Harvard University researcher Tom Patterson noted in a study a few years ago, "in the case of the newspaper and the Internet, an absolute majority of teens and young adults are non-users. The newspaper particularly has little appeal to young Americans." I've noticed the same tendency in my classes: many students just aren't interested in reading the news.

Which is why I so enjoyed an article in today's New York Times about young professionals whose jobs involve attending to the news, and how important that attention is. As the article points out, "these 20-something staff members are learning [that] who knows what — and when they know it — can be the difference between professional advancement and barely scraping by."

A great quote attributed to David Perlmutter, the director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa, stood out also. The author quoted Permutter as saying:

“You don’t want to be coming into the office at 8 a.m., and everyone is saying, ‘Oh, my God, can you believe what happened?’ And you’re going, ‘What happened?’ ”

I posted link to it in the course website. Let's see if they read the story!

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