Example Current Affairs writeups
Fall semester, 2000.
[this is a really bad example for ist230 because it is copied from ist 110!]
Keller, J. (1999, 10 August), Don't look: Pediatricians go for the jugular, but will the medium
get the message? Chicago Tribune, s.5, p.3.
The article comes from the Chicago Tribune (8/10/99) and highlights the concerns that
pediatricians have with children under two watching television. It is noteworthy because these
are doctors discussing the potentially harmful effects of the television's presence (and not the
content provided). It relates well to our discussion of the information age because of the issues
with the pervasiveness of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the ongoing
debate of their value.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has announced a policy where it will encourage
pediatricians to urge parents with children under two to completely remove TV from their
worlds. This is not about the content, but the very presence! Findings from cognitive research
on the effects of TV (and other electronic media like video games) is quite limited. This is
especially the case with small children. The general consensus of the 55,000 members of the
APA is, better to remove than expose small children to TV.
The relationship between TV and the information age is inescapable. It is large scale, pervasive,
and quite powerful. It is also becoming more integrated with other forms of ICT (as the various
computing and communication industries/media converge). This article highlights how diverse
are the contributors to the debates on ICT in our world. The article also intimates how broad
reaching ICT use is in our society. Further, the debate is not about information (content) but
about distribution (access to the TV).
I am fascinated by both the policy statement and the implications of such. As a parent of two
young children, this announcement concerns me. As an IT professional, this gives me pause to
reflect. That is, does using ICT actually make things better OR do I just believe that it will? As
an academic teaching about the potential of ICT, the ways to build information systems
composed of ICT and a user of these, it seems critical to bring these issues to the center of the
Steve Sawyer, IST110
August 24, 1999