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Local news bumped from classrooms

Marketplace Staff Jan 29, 2007


BOB MOON: Most school curriculums focus on preparing students for standardized testing, but there’s still a lot of attention on current events. A Harvard study out today finds 4 of every 5 social studies teachers incorporate news in their lessons, as much or more than they used to. But as Helen Palmer reports, the study could still be bad news for newspapers.

HELEN PALMER: For the last two decades, news organizations have given schools free or cut rate papers, but it’s the Internet that’s really caught on in the classroom.

And that’s led to a shift not just of medium, but of news providers, says study author Tom Patterson of Harvard’s Kennedy School.

TOM PATTERSON: Teachers, as they’ve moved to the Internet, have gone to national news organizations, kind of the brand names: NYTimes.com, CNN.com.

Also BBC.com. These all give children a broader view of the news. Patterson says that more global grasp of current affairs has a cost to local news media.

PATTERSON: As that piece of the media system weakens one assumes that democracy at that level will also weaken.

Patterson says today’s school kids aren’t likely to get the newspaper habit as they get older.

In Boston, I’m Helen Palmer for Marketplace.

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