Frontline's report is a great example of in-depth television news reporting. It had many of the important components needed for a television news story. The program may not have represented my generation of college students as much as it could have, but the content provided did present an accurate account of college students.
Even though the report had many good components, it did have some weaknesses. The program contained a lot of fluff and few news values. The news values it did have (impact, proximity, conflict and emotions) were weak.
Despite the lack of "hard news" in the program, it had many strengths. The program provided information from many different points of including M.I.T. students, South Korean gamers, the U.S. military as well as teachers who strongly opposed or supported the use of technology in the class room. It also had some credible sources like Professor Clifford Nass at Stanford University.
The program's most prominent strength was its emotional appeal. Unlike most journalism, a crucial component of TV journalism is its emotional appeal. There are many instances in which Douglas Rushkoff brings his feelings and experiences to the program. There is a section of the program dedicated to the relationships created online in the virtual world. Producer Rachel Dretzin states her personal concerns for her children using technology as well and films them in her home.
I wouldn't recognize this program as a representation of my generation of college students. Most of it reflected anything but college students. There was a lot of information about the education system for children ranging from age 5 to 18 as well as their lives outside of school. People as young as their mid 20s and older were also represented on how their personal lives as well as their careers are affected by technology. I would argue there was even more of a representation of college-aged adults that may or may not have been college students.
Even though the program didn't provide much representation of college students, the representation provided was fairly accurate. Most college students are extreme multi-taskers. They use technology in almost every aspect of their life. They have to. They have too much to do. Greg Bukata, former Senior at Chatham High School, said "If there were 27 hours in a day I would read Hamlet, I really would, but there is only 24."