I tend to always read comments on articles and videos I watch, and I have to say that NPR articles seem to have comments that are almost always educational, thought-provoking, and overall worth reading! I actually feel like I’m not getting more stupid when I read them. Anyway, interesting article.
To digress from the article, though: I usually take some time every couple years to check out the demographics of news networks, both that I read/listen to and don’t. Looks like I need to start reading Wall Street Journal more often. Their audience tested as the most well informed of any audience, ahead of New York Times readers who came in second, and NPR readers came came in 4th, just after Rush Limbaugh’s audience (who I also listen to on occasion – mostly when I land on the station by accident and I get sucked in!) ALL five of the TOP five most popular news networks (including CNN, MSNBC and Fox) crowded together to fill the BOTTOM FIVE for how well informed their audience is. *YIKES, PEOPLE!* WSJ, NYT and NPR ranked as most educated (71% of WSJs audience has a college degree, 70% of NPR, 29% of Fox), so maybe it’s not surprising that they also earn the most of any news audience (57% of WSJ audience earn over 75k! 53% of NYT), along with News mags readers. I guess that explains why I love reading the comments on NPR articles: strong critical thinking and reasoning skills are invaluable, and while almost anyone can develop them no matter what (educated in institutions or not!), I think if you’re diligent about your education (at any level, really), you’re especially bound to develop those skills so that you can be a worthwhile contributing member of discussions(/society, really). You don’t have to be right, but be able to contribute something other than “this is dumb you’re an idiot shut up go back to (blank) *@$%!”