Stearns makes some excellent assertions on the value of historical study for society (e.g. “history offers a storehouse of information about how people and societies behave,” and that “history provides data about the emergence of national institutions, problems, and values – it’s the only significant storehouse of such data available.”).
In 1999, Bill Gates said “the Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” Many things happen in a town square on a daily basis – commerce, leisure, entertainment, and the sharing of news. Since Mr. Gates made his observation, the world of social media has taken our village in new directions that he was unlikely to have foreseen. This edition of the History Rhyme will briefly focus on the news gathering and disseminating part of this role and then look at why historians are so important in helping us to make sense of what we have heard in Mr. Gates’ town square.
Up until recently, news and opinion on the events of the world have been available mainly through websites created by traditional print and broadcast media (e.g. the Wall Street Journal or CNN). In the past couple of years, the contribution by social media…
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