Monday, January 31, 2005

HS Students and Freedom of the Press

USA Today reports on a survey of high school students that I find hard to believe. Link.
One in three U.S. high school students say the press ought to be more restricted, and even more say the government should approve newspaper stories before readers see them, according to a survey being released today.

The survey of 112,003 students finds that 36% believe newspapers should get "government approval" of stories before publishing; 51% say they should be able to publish freely; 13% have no opinion.

At least a majority stood by the First Amendment, but it is a pretty small majority. I have done substitute teaching in high school, and this report just does not sound right to me. Maybe the kids I taught were atypical, but I suspect there was something wrong either with the sampling methodology or with the wording of the questions. At least I hope there was something wrong with one of those, which resulted in a case of "garbage in, garbage out."


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