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ISOJ 2004

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  1. 1. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? 55thth International SymposiumInternational Symposium on Online Journalismon Online Journalism University of TexasUniversity of Texas, Austin, Austin Steve Klein, Coordinator of the Electronic Journalism ProgramSteve Klein, Coordinator of the Electronic Journalism Program George Mason UniversityGeorge Mason University With Nam Thai, Instructional Research CenterWith Nam Thai, Instructional Research Center April 16-17, 2004April 16-17, 2004
  2. 2. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? in•dis•pen•sa•blein•dis•pen•sa•ble Pronunciation:Pronunciation: (in"di-spen's(in"di-spen'suu-b-buul),l), adj.adj. 1.1. absolutely necessary, essential, or requisite:absolutely necessary, essential, or requisite: an indispensable medium?an indispensable medium? 2.2. incapable of being disregarded or neglected:incapable of being disregarded or neglected: an indispensable … source of news?an indispensable … source of news?
  3. 3. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable?
  4. 4. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? When I walk around theWhen I walk around the George MasonGeorge Mason University campus inUniversity campus in Fairfax, Va.,Fairfax, Va., everybodyeverybody has one of these.has one of these. In fact, instructors have toIn fact, instructors have to state in our syllabi thatstate in our syllabi that cell phones must becell phones must be turned off during class!turned off during class!
  5. 5. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? Another indispensableAnother indispensable form of media almostform of media almost every student bringsevery student brings to campus is ato campus is a portable music player.portable music player.
  6. 6. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable?
  7. 7. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? So … Has online news become indispensable? Despite my 1995 dreams, not quite yet. Not until it becomes truly ubiquitous. Not until it becomes so easy to access and use that it becomes transparent … a little like this scene from “Minority Report.”
  8. 8. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? So, when was the last timeSo, when was the last time that a medium becamethat a medium became clearly indispensable?clearly indispensable?
  9. 9. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? So, what newsSo, what news websites arewebsites are students accessing?students accessing?
  10. 10. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? Fred Durst or John Ashcroft?Fred Durst or John Ashcroft? Paris Hilton or Hamad Karzai?Paris Hilton or Hamad Karzai? Hillary Clinton or …Hillary Clinton or …
  11. 11. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? My more sophisticatedMy more sophisticated students get some ofstudents get some of their news fromtheir news from Dennis MillerDennis Miller onon CNBC.CNBC.
  12. 12. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? Most of them knowMost of them know whatwhat Jon StewartJon Stewart laughed about lastlaughed about last night on “The Dailynight on “The Daily Show” on ComedyShow” on Comedy Central.Central.
  13. 13. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? Young people are the hardest to reachYoung people are the hardest to reach segment of the political news audiencesegment of the political news audience (according to the Pew Research Center for(according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press).the People & the Press).
  14. 14. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? Today, 21 percent of young Americans underToday, 21 percent of young Americans under age 30 regularly learn about the presidentialage 30 regularly learn about the presidential campaign and the candidates from comedycampaign and the candidates from comedy shows like “The Daily Show” or “Saturdayshows like “The Daily Show” or “Saturday Night Live” and comedians like DavidNight Live” and comedians like David Letterman and Jay Leno –Letterman and Jay Leno – twice as manytwice as many as could say this four years could say this four years ago.
  15. 15. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? One out of every two young people say theyOne out of every two young people say they sometimes learn about the campaign fromsometimes learn about the campaign from comedy shows – twice the rate amongcomedy shows – twice the rate among Americans age 30-49 (27 percent) and fourAmericans age 30-49 (27 percent) and four times the rate among people age 50 andtimes the rate among people age 50 and older (12 percent).older (12 percent).
  16. 16. BecomingBecoming Indispensable?Indispensable? For these young people, the content of theFor these young people, the content of the jokes, sketches and guest appearances onjokes, sketches and guest appearances on these programs is not a repeat of oldthese programs is not a repeat of old information.information. Nearly half say that what they learn isNearly half say that what they learn is something new – something they had notsomething new – something they had not known previously.known previously.
  17. 17. Thanks for your (continued?) attention.Thanks for your (continued?) attention.