Smart or dumb?

Watching the news has never been as easy as now. Smartphones, iPads, internet, … The possibilities keep growing in this dynamic ICT world. My newsconsumptions exists of reading a newspaper (at home and in Leuven where I studie) or the internet, watching the television or listen to the radio. Gadgets like iPads are still unknown territory for me.

Now that I’m on an Erasmus, my communicationoptions have  changed. To keep in touch with the Belgium news, I use the internet to watch the news and other channels live on the website www.slingbox.com. I also follow  the Belgium news via my Dutch television here in Uilenstede because they broadcast a channel called ‘Één’, which is our most popular tv-channel in Belgium to watch the news, nice!

When do I consume news? Well, that’s mostly in the evening when I’m sitting in my bed. A big contrast with my Belgium news consumption, bacause at home  I always read thenewspaper as quick as possible in the morning. So, my conslusion is that my newsconsumption is less active and less engaged now.

“Smart or duwm?”. That’s the questions that seems to arise when reading Prior’s article (2005) when discussing the contrast between political and entertainment driven people if we look at their newsconsumption.

Prior wrote an interesting article, especially because of his focus on political knowledge. Political knowledge is an important factor in society. The majority of the people must take notice of the political things that go on around them. If you read his conclusion, you notice that the media diversity gives people the choice to prefer entertainment and to just ignore political issues. This luxury can be nice, but the entertainment driven people wouldn’t have any intelligence about important things that are going on nowadays. They are seen as ‘dumb’ (Prior, 2005). In  contrast, you have an increase in people’s knowledge that are interested in politics. The diversity in media give them the opportunity to stay in touch with correct political information.

How would I relate these conclusions with my news consumption? I suppose I’m more an entertainment consumer. But that doesn’t make you dumb! I still follow what’s going on in the world.

I must admit that the diversity in consuming makes you more selective, you just ignore the boring things and look for funny video’s, weird issues, strange topic,…  But, we can’t forget about how newspapers work! They still are the most common way to consume news and even when reading a newspaper you can ignore the less interesting topics and look for alternatives in an entertainment driven way. So, I agree that media diversity causes a gap between entertainment and political engaged people but we must not forget how this gap can be found in newspaper consumption as well, where preferences are made to when reading.

The second part of the assignment is an interesting one. I looked up for an interesting article and I found one with the headliner “Kooigevechten met kinderen leiden tot storm van protest in Engeland”.  I posted a comment with a friendly supportive tone. I noted that I supported the protestation on this topic. I signalled that it was normal because they are still little children of the age 8 or 9. Did I get a reaction? No! What I did notice was that it were the more contentious, critical comments that got response
from people. Shouting, insulting each other, being angry of the skeptical critical comments of others,… It was one big verbal fight between two groups of people, the pro and contra. So angry comments attracts more attention then a confirming, friendly post….

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One Comment on “Smart or dumb?”

  1. jeanaf says:

    Good point about the newspaper. I think people can of course still be selective reading the paper. I think the point is that even when people are focusing on their area of interest when reading the paper, they still, at least, are forced to scan other content. Also, I don’t think Prior would think you are dumb!


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