Monday, August 13, 2007

Unbiased clarity

As I watched Washington Week on MPT this past week, it occurred to me that hot-button issues such as freedom of speech in schools, same-sex marriage and illegal immigration were being discussed in more depth than I have ever seen on national news. What was even more stimulating was that the discussion was being orchestrated by college professors from local colleges. These are issues that affect young people we all know in one way or another and the information being shared on Washington Week is presented with unbiased clarity so that young people can form their own opinions and can truly understand the legislation that impacts all of us.

Discussions from the program are echoed throughout college newspapers nationally through a unique partnership between public television and U-Wire called Washington Week: Student Voices. I’ve found that the articles engage student perspectives about what is happening as it happens. Virginia Tech’s Newspaper, The Collegiate Times, posted an article through Student Voices about the reopening of Norris Hall, the site of the deadly shootings earlier this year. Instead of one quick interview with a student or dean, the article covers the reopening in depth from the campus, including interviews with deans, students and faculty. I feel like I get a truer sense of world news from the youth perspective this way. This is a great way to find out about what’s going on in the world without totally immersing yourself in politics or hours of C-Span. And the best part is that when you want to sound like you actually know what you are talking about, this can be the tool that gets you there.

Kristin Ciarlo
Member Relations Representative

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