Universities and the shift in priorities
I read your editorial, March 16, with interest because I've been saying the same to my adult children for years. They both have post-secondary education and have skills pertinent to their work, but neither are interested in the news or in reading. Observing young people and watching some TV and online news, I have concluded that it's not just young people who have lost interest in reading and keeping abreast of the news.
Reasons why I believe this: 1) People are busy and don't have time to read; 2) People today have short attention spans and are not interested in investing time to catch up with what's going on in the world; 3) Young people (especially) see that about 75% of news reports are bad. (They say, "Why be brought down by negative stories from around the world? World conflicts have always been here; nothing will change."); 4) Combining 2) and 3) means young people are more interested in short videos that are comical or cute or are about entertainment. I blame this trend on the Internet and modern technology where people can view all this on their smart phones and tablets in a few minutes on the bus to work, taking coffee breaks, etc.
I also blame it on the regular media. I read two online newspapers daily and I have noticed that the amount (and in-depth coverage) of "hard" news has gone down; the amount of "soft" news has gone up.
There has been a tectonic shift in priorities among young people. Sometimes I think the world is moving too fast. My adult children are in the thick of it but seem to be managing the changes well. Our generation viewed things one way, but the next generation has thrown out the book on what is important, current, valuable, etc., and will do fine in writing their own book. I want to believe that.