International Headlines : Exploring Youth-Centered Innovation in Global News Delivery
Traditional news media must innovate to maintain their ability to inform contemporary audiences. This research project analyzes innovative news outlets that have the potential to draw young audiences to follow global current events. On February 8, 2011, a Pew Research Center Poll found that 52 percent of Americans reported having heard little or nothing about the anti-government protests in Egypt. Egyptians had been protesting for nearly two weeks when this poll was conducted. The lack of knowledge about the protests was not a result of scarce media attention. In the United States, most mainstream TV news sources (CNN, FOX, MSNBC, ABC) ran headline stories on the protests by January 26, one day after the protests began. Sparked by an assignment in International Reporting J450 class, we selected 20 innovative news outlets to investigate whether they are likely to overcome the apparent disinterest of Americans, particularly the youth, in foreign news. Besides testing those news outlets for one week, we explored the coverage and financing of these outlets, and we are communicating with their editors and writers to best understand how and why they publish as they do. We will evaluate them, following a rubric, and categorize them based on their usefulness and effectiveness.
Other typical questions might be about why so much of the Odyssey is about Odysseus’ return to Ithaca, rather than the adventures at sea that everyone remembers, or whether Achilles or Hector is the real hero of the Iliad ? It really depends on what the applicant says they have read. We’re looking for candidates to be able to pick out details in the text that support the argument they want to make - and opposing arguments, too. The questions allow us to see whether candidates are open-minded and able to see how others, both today and, crucially, in the ancient world, might put the evidence from the texts together to draw different conclusions. And we would hope that candidates would think about how, although literary texts often encourage us to react to their characters as if they were real people, actually these characters are constructed by an author, and what we see of them always reflects that author’s choices.