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MDSB61H3 Chapter Notes -Pew Research Center


Department
Media Studies
Course Code
MDSB61H3
Professor
Gray Graffam

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Issue 16: are youth indifferent to news and politics?
o The percentage of adults who subscribe to the newspaper is diminishing
YES: David T. Z. Mindich Journalism and citizenship: making the connection
- younger and the growing generation are not as involved in politics due to Fb, MySpace, Youtube and
other digital media
The news habit
- if you assign 6th graders to read the news, they will read it
- sign them up for email alerts from the Times kids who are often asked to follow the news often keep
up with the habit on their own
Rebuilding trust
- why young ppl don’t follow the news is that many of them no longer trust those bringing the news to
them, esp the commercial outlets
- four factors which conspire young ppl in deep suspicions of corporate media
1) young ppl are deeply and rightly suspicious of the rising sensationalism in the media
2) attacks from the right have labeled, unfairly, I blv, the mainstream press as being left wing
3) bc many on the left criticize the press for its failure to ask tough questions in the months leading
up to the Irag War, a lot of young ppl don’t realize there were a number of hard-hitting reports
and editorials
4) well meaning “media literacy” educators have sought to make young ppl aware of the dangers of
media, in general, without helping them to see the benefits of journalism, in particular
NO: Pew Internet & American Life Project The Internet and civic Engagement
- internet used to facilitate the process of the formation of political grps
- everything abt political information is now available on the internet
- Internet helps to connect ppl of geographically dispersed ppl at little cost enhances political activity
- Whether they take plc on the internet or off, traditional political activities remain the domain of those
with high levels of income and education
- Within any age grp, there is a strong correlation btwn socio-economic status and online political and
civic engagement
- There are hints that forms of civic engagement anchored in blogs and social networking sites could
alter long-standing patterns that are based on socio-economic status
- These forms of online political engagement are the domain of the young
- Whether we are looking at the popln as a whole or only at those who are online, these modes of
online civic engagement decline steadily with age with the youngest adults much more likely than
their elders either to make political use of social networking sites or to post material abt political or
social issues
- Neither political involvement on social networking sites nor posting material abt political or social
issues on the Web is strongly associated with socio-economic status
- Compared to income and education, the relationship btwn age and these political activities is
somewhat more complex
- Education is highly correlated with both online and offline govnt contact even among internet users
With respect to age, the relative likelihood of young adults to email a govnt official is largely a
function of their high rates of internet use: within the online popln, those aged 65 and older are
roughly 3 times more likely to contact a govnt official via email as those aged 18-24 (p. 363)
- Among ppl under 30, students are much more likely than those who are not in sch both to make
political use of a social networking site and to post political material online
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