Managing the Information Explosion
January 31, 1997
in this forum:
Should Internet users expect to pay for information in the future? Should the government provide Internet access? With so much information on the Internet, how can one avoid Web Trash? What does the Internet mean for those living in remote places? Can a "common culture" exist in the age of New Media? What skills do children need to learn to be media literate? Viewer comments regarding New Media.
December 30, 1996: Will information traffic jams increase in cyberspace?
December 25, 1996: The NewsHour reviews the Year in Cyberspace.
Browse the Online NewsHour's coverage of cyberspace.
Bill Berkholtz of Muskego, WI, asks:
As a public high school social studies teacher, my main concern involves young people and the explosion of information. Mr. Katz, what skills do kids coming out of high schools need in relation to the information age and the "new media"? How can America's schools best prepare the next generation of citizens to deal with the explosion of "news?" How can we help young people wade through the mountain of information that is available to them?
Jon Katz responds:
You've asked the central question, as far as I'm concern, relating to the Information Revolution. What about the gap between techno-haves and have-nots? How are poor and working class kids going to get wired? How can we teach all children how to access information online safely and efficiently rather than frighten them with phobic notions about the Internet and new media.
My most urgent advice would be to begin setting up curriculums in all schools that teach the use of media and deal with issues relating to culture. How much TV is too much? How dangerous is the Internet for kids (not very). Why are some cultural forms -- rap, for example -- angry or sexist, sometimes hateful? How can kids distinguish between advertising and editorial content and deal with alluring imagery like sports advertising?