Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Young and the News

It is a well known finding that age correlates with political knowledge. Do a survey and older respondents do better than younger respondents on pretty much any kind of test you want to give them (who is speaker of the House? what party controls Congress? what are the two main branches of Islam?).

But do people encourage their children to keep up with the news, which logic suggests would make them better able to answer such questions and be better citizens by making informed choices when they get to actually vote?

Sorta.

A Pew study found that teens are more encouraged than younger kids to keep up with the news. Makes sense. Even kinda obvious. You want to screen younger kids from some of the stuff. In fact I'm a little puzzled by the 29 percent who say they never screen their 6-and-under aged kids from the news. We want informed citizens, not children in need of therapy.

Again, not surprisingly, partents who attend carefully to the news are more likely to encourage their own children to do the same.

The information rich get richer. The chronic know-nothings spawn more of the same.

2 comments:

Karen said...

What about your spawn?

Hollander said...

I keep telling my spawn they should read the news. One looks at the comics, the other prefers history.

Kinda the same thing.