Some may have been surprised by the story that came out today regarding the primary news source for younger Americans:
“A poll released earlier this year by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 21 percent of people aged 18 to 29 cited ‘The Daily Show‘ and ‘Saturday Night Live’ as a place where they regularly learned presidential campaign news.
“By contrast, 23 percent of the young people mentioned ABC, CBS or NBC’s nightly news broadcasts as a source.
“Even more startling is the change from just four years ago. When the same question was asked in 2000, Pew found only 9 percent of young people pointing to the comedy shows and 39 percent to the network news shows.”
I must confess, I’m among that 21%. As of a couple of months ago, I’ve changed my news-gathering habits in two ways. Firstly, I’ve started watching the horrible, horribly 6:30pm national news. Having not watched it for years, I have gotten enough distance from it to realize what fluffy dreck that it really is. ABC, CBS, NBC…whatever. It’s all garbage. But I recognize that it’s how most Americans get their news, and if I want to know what most people think and why, it’s important that I watch it. (Or, in truth, have the TV turned on and listen to most of it.) Secondly, I’ve stopped watching the local 11pm news, and started watching Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. Not only is it informative, but Stewart is really very funny. He provides an angle on stories that isn’t just amusing, but insightful, too.
And, of course, I read the New York Times, CNN’s website, the Roanoke Times, much of the Washington Post, a dozen news blogs, the Charlottesville Daily Progress, listen to at least a portion of All Things Considered, and watch CNN for a bit midway through the day. So it’s not like I get all of my news from Comedy Central. But I’m not ashamed to say my most engaged news-gathering each day occurs at 11pm, while watching Jon Stewart.