And one of my habits is reading the newspaper every day. This was the topic of my latest op-ed, which appeared in Wednesday’s Virginian-Pilot. The original impetus for the article was, of course, the announced changes to the newspaper. But then the Pew Research Center in conjunction with the Knight Foundation released a study (pdf) about how people learn about their local community, which I first saw referenced in this story. (Note that I did not tackle – at least in this article – the second Pew report referenced in this story.)
Teaching at ODU has reinforced for me that there has to be some way of encouraging (enticing?) the younger generation to read newspapers or somehow otherwise get news. I asked my students how many of them read the newspaper. Only a couple – out of 200 – read it.
Trying to relate accounting to something that the students can relate to is always a challenge. Trying to relate it to current events is almost impossible when the students are unaware of what is going on around them. Case in point: one of my students shares the name of a politico who has been in the news a lot. I mentioned it to her and she said she was wondering why her name was trending one day on Twitter. Thought it was cool – but she didn’t know why it was trending.
This wasn’t always the case. I’m back in the classroom after an eight-year absence and it seems this group of students appear to be further removed from the news than ever. It should not be a surprise, then, that younger people are unreliable voters.
Maybe they’ll grow into it. For all our sakes, I sure hope so. But if in the interim the sources of information disappear, they will have nothing to grow into.