Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Arab media forum shows strengths, weaknesses of today's youth

Evidence of both young people's grasp of media and some of their total lack of understanding came through loud and clear in a session at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai.

One student said that "traditional media vehicles will have to adapt their formats if they are to engage the young audience."First of all it takes too long to get to what you want to know," she said of "old media." "Second of all because of the way of delivery.... Sometimes they beat around the bush so much, to a point where I'd rather read two lines on Twitter and I understand the whole article."

That's the dilemma facing media, old and new, today. Clearly some young people want their news in snapshots, but they also believe they can "understand the whole article" in two lines. Of course, that's what headlines do, but they only draw us into stories. Experienced readers know they need more than 140 characters to understand the whole story.

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