The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Youth favours government control of the press

Not even Bush goes quite so far.

The ombud at the Oregonian marks Sunshine Week with a straw poll of high-schoolers which match the disturbing findings of a Knight Foundation report (PDF) of January:
about one-third of students disagreed with full freedom of the press -- twice the rate of adult readers

(The Knight survey found (p6a) that with the question
Newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories
only 51% of high-schoolers polled were in agreement [1].)

Unfortunately, the Knight study provides no longitudinal information, that I can see. Are these numbers more or less pro-censorship than, say, during the post-war Red Scare; or at the height of the movement against the Vietnam War?

Why should teenagers - a stage in life noted for antipathy to curbs on personal freedom - be more supportive of repression than their parents? Were said parents equally authoritarian-friendly when they were their children's age?

(Perhaps an actual reading of the report - which I'd ducked altogether first time around - may have some answers.)

  1. The corresponding number for adults generally was 70%. Which, when you think about it, is an even more chilling number.

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