I’m at the State Capitol today for the Civics Education Summit.
The all-day event for government teachers began with a panel featuring Anita Kumar of the Washington Post, Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Michael Sluss of the Roanoke Times on the influence of the media on state politics. I moderated.
The questions and discussion revolved around the following Q’s:
1. Are blogs dumbing down the political discourse?
2. Can mainstream media, i.e. newspapers, survive in the Internet age?
3. How do educators get their students to discern the bias of news sources?
4. Do mainstream papers also carry a bias?
5. Who will win the race for Governor?
Thank you to Jeff, Anita and Michael who hung in there and answered all the Q’s. As I’ve said before on this blog, the need for professional journalists is more important than ever. The skills and resources needed to track down major stories are just not available to part-timers or rank amateurs (of which I qualify).
By the same token, our students need to realize that professional reporters also carry their own experiences and values into their work, as do the editors that publish (or don’t publish) the stories.