ESPN: New Widgets for New News Habits

ESPN Widgets are portable applications that you can place almost anywhere! You can put them on your blog, your iGoogle home page, your Facebook profile, and many of the other most popular sites on the internet. These ESPN Widgets are updated frequently, so you can keep up-to-date with breaking stories and the latest scores and stats. Add an ESPN Widget to your favorite site today!

Being a sports nut (and AD), I’ve added this one to our school system’s athletics webpage

espn.jpg

ESPN offers a variety of widgets at its widget center. Services for the widgets include embed code, e-mail, google, facebook, myyearbook, myspace, netvibes, hi5, xanga, friendster, tagged, blackplanet, blogger, typepad, livejournal, multiply, eons, pageflakes, webwag and vox.

Why is this significant and blogworthy? It has to do with preparing kids for their futures not our pasts. Remember gathering ’round the TV for the evening news? How many of us still do that?

Writes Laura Mckenna at Pajamas Media:

I will not be sitting in front of the 6:30 network news.

More importantly, neither will any of the college students in my classes.

They are the news consumers of the future and the evening news has no place in their lives. I teach Politics and Media with reading assignments from the most widely used textbook in the field, but the students don’t know what to make of it. To them, it reads like ancient history. The author writes as if the world still looked up to news anchors. She refers familiarly and respectfully to Brian Williams and Katie Couric in a tone that assumes her readers – the students – also worship them.

Wrong. The students worship Jon Stewart. They have never watched the 6:30 news, not even once. They have never watched the local 5:00 news shows either. I have to actually assign students to watch the local news in order to get the students to watch those shows, so they will know what their textbooks are talking about. I might as well have asked them to go to a museum.

My anecdotal evidence is supported by research. In a recent study, Thomas Patterson from Harvard found that young people – surprise! – don’t tune into Katie or any other traditional news anchors. They don’t have the same daily news habit that their parents had.

Patterson writes:

For young Americans, most of them do not make any appointment with the daily news, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t have some exposure to it. They are so media connected that it’s really difficult for them or anyone else in this society to not have some news exposure, but they essentially don’t put part of their day aside to partake of the news.

Got widgets?  How about relevance?

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