Teens: No respect for First Amendement, what about blogs?

The Knight Foundation recently released a [study showing a disturbing lack of respect by teens](http://www.knightfdn.org/default.asp?story=news_at_knight/releases/2005/2005_01_31_firstamend.html) for the [First Amendment](http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.billofrights.html).

One question that went unanswered, or at least unmentioned in the Knight Foundation’s release, was what do the students think about First Amendment protection for forms of speech closer to a teenager’s heart?

What about blogs?

I’m just guessing here, but say you’re an average American teenager. You get this survey from the Knight Foundation, which is probably pretty heavily infused with the idea of “Big Media” ™ — newspapers, TV, radio, etc.

What reason do you, the average American teenager, have to trust “Big Media” ™? Not much:

* **Newspapers:** Increasingly becoming less relevant to teens — they don’t cover (or cover well), the issues facing them. And even if they do, lugging a newspaper around isn’t as hip as a cell phone, iPod, or laptop.
* **Radio/Music:** Chances are, you or your friends could be/have been sued by “Big Music” because they refuse to sell you singles on-demand electronically. Sure, Apple is making the situation better, but Apple isn’t “Big Media” ™ — they’re hip.
* **TV/Cable:** Tivo and [Bittorrent](http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/) has made your TV experience enjoyable again, but you keep hearing about how the MPAA is getting ready to fight those two outlets.

My point is that teenagers, among others, have very few reasons to support or trust “Big Media” ™.

So, the question is, what if you asked: “Do you believe the government should be able to censor your LiveJournal?”

Or what about: “Should the government be able to monitor your IM/text message sessions with your friends?”

A big part of the future of mass communication is personal publishing and [end-to-end communication via the Internet](http://worldofends.com/).

The question is, how do teenagers feel about the government regulation of **their media** not “Big Media” ™.

About Chris

Python developer, Agile practitioner trying desperately not to be a pointy haired boss.
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One Response to Teens: No respect for First Amendement, what about blogs?

  1. Mark says:

    You’re exactly correct, and you’d get the response you expect (it’s no one’s business but mine and who else I want to know). I coach 20+ 15-year-olds and can tell you it’s how you describe it.

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