Give us news to think about

I interrupt our usual cultural programming to deliver a think piece (or so I attempted) on an advocacy close to my heart: the cross between journalism and education.

Not everything we read off our favorite news sites and blogs makes us think — most sites give us bits and pieces of things that are meant to be taken as they are.
How many “OMG!” Yahoo articles, snarky opinion pieces and arresting news stories actually make you smarter? Aren’t we often more inclined to just pause and say, “This writer’s right,” than to question her?
Then we go around carrying our day’s fix of info, parroting the written facts as if they’re all that’s true. And therein lies the danger, especially now that information is more accessible than ever – now that it’s social, mobile, dirt cheap and democratic.
Some would even say we Millennials are “the smartest generation” because of this access, and teachers are already asking how they can adapt instruction to our unique learning skills. But the trouble comes when we fail to draw the line between information and education.
While it’s easy to agree we have too much of the former, the latter is inarguably more valuable. Education, after all, is a fundamental right and key to full human progress. If we call for quality, accessible education from our social institutions (government, schools, church, family), I don’t think we should demand anything less than that same quality and accessibility from the media, the so-called “Fourth Estate,” as providers of information. 
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Photo: I'm thinking of by David Restivo under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 license