This video of the last day at the Rocky Mountain News, the latest newspaper to close up shop in the midst of a spiraling downturn in the news industry, was posted on Vimeo a few days ago by Matthew Roberts. Over at The Joy of Children’s Literature blog Denise Johnson wonders if today’s generation will remember how the news “used to be published.”
Of course this is a topic near and dear to me and my colleagues. It’s not just the demise of the broadsheet that worries journalists, but the seeming growing indifference to the kind of content that newspapers and their expert staffs crank out day in and day out. Just this morning we see that the government is undertaking an investigation of the effectiveness of children’s car seats, not because of crash test results, but because the Chicago Tribune discovered that those results were not made public.
There are countless other examples.
How can we get the digital generation to appreciate that not all “news” on the Internet is equal, and that the Fourth Estate is an essential component of a democracy? Do today’s students know how to distinguish between legitimate online news and the info they get from their favorite sites?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.