LISTEN to an audio interview with study coordinator Warren Watson of Ball State University:
A Knight Foundation survey of 15,000 U.S. high-school students and 800 of their teachers has recorded increased teaching of First Amendment issues over the last two years. The high-school students know more about the free speech/free press issues than they reported in an initial, larger, $1-million study in 2004 entitled: "The Future of the First Anendment." But the Knight Foundation said the latest results also show students increasingly polarized about how they feel on First Amendment issues. A website with details of the findings by University of Connecticut researchers Dr. David Yalof and Dr. Kenneth Dautrich, is public today at: http://www.firstamendmentfuture.org. "We see progress," said Eric Newton, Knight's director of Journalism Initiatives, "but there are still serious problems." The researchers reported in a conference call today that high-school students are far more likely to take classes that teach about the First Amendment than two years ago. And more students now support protections for the news media. They also are more in favor of their right to report in their own newspapers without school officials' approval. But more students today think the First Amendment, as a whole, goes too far in the rights it guarantees. A gap is widening between those who support this fundamental law and those who don't. And teachers, while themselves increasing their appreciation of the First Amendment, don't think schools are doing a great job of teaching it.
EARLIER POST ABOUT Constitution Day (Sept. 18):
EARLIER WRAPUP ON JANUARY 2005 INITIAL FINDINGS:
The Knight Foundation's contact for the study is Larry Meyer, vice president of communications
Knight Foundation(305) 908-2610, firstname.lastname@example.org