By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Plugged in, tuned out

I’ll be taking part in a panel discussion tomorrow evening on young people and the news. Titled “Plugged In, Tuned Out,” the program — sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) — will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Back Bay Events Center, in the Dorothy Quincy Suite at 180 Berkeley St. in Boston.

Other panelists will be Adam Gaffin, the impresario of Universal Hub; Bianca Vazquez Toness, a reporter for WBUR Radio (90.9 FM); and Dante Ramos (scroll down a bit), deputy editorial-page editor of the Boston Globe. The moderator will be Adam Reilly of the Boston Phoenix.

The panel is an outgrowth of an article I wrote for MassINC’s quarterly magazine, CommonWealth, which you can read here. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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  1. JonGarfunkel

    Looking forward to it! thanks for the notice.

  2. Aaron Read

    Hey Dan – is this being recorded for broadcast? It’s the sort of thing I might want to air on WEOS…

  3. Anonymous

    Don’t need a road map to figure this one out. First, 10X more media available to this generation, all of it offering instant gratification (sexually, sports, music, gaming.) Much harder to sate your desire for those things when we were growing up. Secondly, cable news. They program their shows for female demo numbers, hence the tabloid content. Third, reality television, which has made what’s happening in the home or club or mansion more important than what’s happening outside of it.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Aaron: Don’t know. But you could call tomorrow and see what’s up. Hope to see you there.

  5. Peter Porcupine

    Dan – my $0.02 – if kids grow up in a newspaper house, they’ll read the paper. If their parents don’t, they won’t.My greater concern is that allegiance to fact as opposed to opinion is dwindling. Opinion labelled as fact is increasing. the most chilling statistic about younger people isn’t that they aren’t reading newspapers – it’s that they get their news from Jon Stewart, and to be fair to him, he’s would be the first to say he’s entertainment.Back in the day, I never thought TW3 (That Was the Week That Was) was anything but satire; then again, I grew up in a household with three daily papers.

  6. Dan Kennedy

    PP: The truly frightening thing is that you can get more news from Jon Stewart than you can from anything on the three cable nets during prime time (8 to 11 p.m.). OK, I’ll make a partial exception for Anderson Cooper. But there you have nine hours of prime-time programming each weekday, and only one hour of news the whole time.

  7. Teddy Kokoros

    Interesting debate and comments from the panel last night. My only real complaint would be there should have been at least one person on the panel in the 18-25 year old range to represent that age group. In addition, while there where young people in the crowd, the number of people in their teens and 20s where still the minority. Next time an event like that is held there should be more done to promote it on college and high school campuses in the area and it when it is promoted make sure people know there is free food because most young people like myself have little or no cash so free food is always an incentive to attended an event. Now for some shameless self promotion: I wrote a recap of the event (not very well written I admit) on my blog that people might want to check out if they attended the event or wanted to attended or could not:

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