Freedom Of The Press? Who Needs It?
from the maybe-freedom-from-the-press... dept
It's sort of a silly exercise, really, because it sets up a ridiculous condition that wouldn't occur in real life, but Romenesko points us to a story about a Middle School teacher who asked her students what five Constitutional protections they would keep if they had to throw out the rest, and not a single one picked "freedom of the press." Obviously, these are young kids -- and many people at that age don't read any news anyway, so it's not surprising that they wouldn't care as much. However, the general sense from the kids seems to be that they're just sick of the mass media in general, and don't see any reason why it needs any special protections. While there have been a bunch of stories recently about the numbers look bad this year for the news business, it's results like the one above that should really scare newspapers. Their future readers are growing up in a world where they already know that the media is a waste of their time. Update: Dan Gillmor has a slightly different take, agreeing that the study itself is stupid and pointing out that freedom of speech equals freedom of the press. However, his claim that this only clouds issues isn't necessarily true. It still seems like it says something about how kids view the press -- and that does matter.