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Chicago Trib: Young People in the News Room Can’t Identify Iwo Jima Photo – 25% Don’t Know Who Hitler Was

Posted by iusbvision on March 16, 2010

This is the photo of American Marines raising the flag over Mt. Suribachi after 5000 marines died securing the island from the Japanese in WWII…and no I didn’t need to look that up.

The Chicago Tribune’s Ron Grossman writes:

I took a quick survey in the newsroom the other day, something between a Rorschach test and a pop quiz, asking younger colleagues to identify an iconic photograph of World War II.

While some instantly recognized the image, others couldn’t quite place it.

“I know I ought to know it,” one co-worker said. “It was in the movie, ‘Flags of Our Fathers.'” Some, seeing uniforms, realized it must be a war photo. Maybe Vietnam? One got the era right but the battlefield wrong. She guessed it was D-Day, not, as it was, the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima.

Journalists are probably more attuned to history than many people. We stick bits of it into the third or fourth paragraph of a story as background to the day’s events. But non-journalists have less incentive to keep up with the past, apparently not even the lure of good grades. Nearly a quarter of 17-year-olds recently surveyed by Common Core, an educational advocacy group and think tank, couldn’t identify Adolf Hitler.

Amazing…. and with all due respect to Ron Grossman, it has been my experience that journalists, as a group, are among the most uniquely ignorant of any group of people I have ever encountered.

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2 Responses to “Chicago Trib: Young People in the News Room Can’t Identify Iwo Jima Photo – 25% Don’t Know Who Hitler Was”

  1. […] settle down and fall in line with an abundance of new laws. There is every reason to believe that largely-unaware and short-term memory challenged Americans (quickly, ask around you, who remembers the death of the […]

  2. Really valuable stuff. General, I believe this is worthy of a bookmark, thanks a bunch!

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