Sunday, September 03, 2006

Blogging up

I asked my journalism students my usual questions about blogging, something I have done for about five years now. The first couple of years few students had even heard of blogging; now they all have. But none read any of the prominent political blogs (although one blogs here) and only a scattered few had heard of any of them. Instapundit, Daily Kos, etc., all pretty much drew a blank. They do their blogging, if any, at

Where do they get their news? Nothing got a majority of votes, but local TV news appeared to be the main source. The Gazette probably ran second, especially when online reading is counted. Comedy Central and radio got a few scattered votes, but national TV, including the 24-hour news channels, didn't get much. I didn't ask about the Outpost; no need to give anyone an incentive to lie.

So how much do they know about the news? Too early to tell, but not much, if past experience holds. Not that that's a bad thing: My days on the road and my college days were the only two times in my life when I didn't read a paper every day.

And there's this: Of the 35 students in my two classes, only one had seen "An Inconvenient Truth." So you ideologues who worry that Al Gore is corrupting young minds can rest easy.

UPDATE: In comments, someone asks how many of my students had seen a Michael Moore movie. Just for the heck of it, I asked my 15 English students that question this morning. About four hands went up.


david said...

See how many of them have watched any of Michael Moore's rags...and then ask them how many of them believe that Bush, the "government," or someone other than 19 terorists were responsible for 9/11...

David said...

Good questions. I didn't ask those questions, but here's my guess on the answers:

1. How many watch Michael Moore films? Probably no more than a handful.

2. How many think terrorists didn't cause 9/11? Probably zero.

Jim Taylor said...

Good to see that you haven't completely given up your Blog.

Vince said...

That past couple semesters when I was teaching in the Ed. department at MSUB I set up a blog for my classes so they could at least become comfortable with the mechanics. The online discussion was sometimes more open than it was in the real classroom and it was generally well received, especially by the older demographics.