Friday, September 16, 2011

Who Do You Believe?

There's a big report out today that examines high school students and their teachers. 

The main topic is First Amendment attitudes, but it also includes interesting data about Internet use, including a question about trust of media sources.  Asked if certain sources are "very truthful," high school students replied:
  • Newspapers: 31 percent
  • Television: 17 percent.
  • Internet: 9 percent
  • Social Network: 7 percent
Wow.  Teachers gave similar results.  See the report (pdf) and the table for Section 10. 

What's fascinating is how much higher students scored newspapers as "very truthful" (31 percent) than did teachers (14 percent).  The downside of this, of course, is students rarely read a newspaper.  Perhaps if they did, they'd score it lower.  We can't answer that from the data here, but they are hopeful from a print news perspective, which of course is the form of media most closely associated with learning about politics and public affairs.

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