Example Current Affairs writeups

Frank Ritter

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.


Points to make in class

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.

Summary of article

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.

Relationship between article and class topic

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).

My comments/insights/observation

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