aid to Africa | Main | Stealth Democracy

July 15, 2003

the young don't read newspapers

According to CIRCLE's new fact sheet on media use, this is the trend in newspaper readership since 1972:

We know that newspaper reading correlates with many forms of civic engagement, so this trend is worrisome. (It is also very bad news for the newspaper industry. Why don't they do something aggressive to reverse the decline, like giving millions of free newspapers to schools?) I think one piece of the problem is that young people don't learn how to read a newspaper. My own experience as a volunteer high school teacher has taught me that the "inverted pyramid" style of journalistic writing assumes a lot of background knowledge, and thus makes news stories baffling to inexperienced teenagers. They can learn to read newspapers, but they don't pick up this skill by osmosis.

Posted by peterlevine at July 15, 2003 11:24 AM


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