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The Scene was our Illinois arts & culture podcast through 2017. Rachel Otwell curated the podcast which provided full-length stories and follow-ups, links to other reports, and conversations with you.This podcast contained a range of stories from the world of arts & culture, from visual art to Springfield's DIY music scene, to profiles of interesting local characters. The podcast was about what makes artists tick, and the diverse culture that exists within our community.

Are All Those Cat Videos Making Us Stupid?

cat on newspaper
Flickr.com/hellie55
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A cat on a newspaper.

In this day and age when people put a lot of effort into making their videos or news stories viral,  there's one sure-fire way to garner some extra attention - put a cat in it. Instagram is full of pictures of cats, and your Facebook news feed likely sees a cat video from time to time. Grumpy Cat is a household name, and face. But what implication does this have with the quality of news we receive? Is it a sign that we as a society are dumbing down? Or is there more to it?

I decided to take these questions to University of Illinois journalism professor Matthew Ehrlich, he's been researching the topic.
 

Click here for a write-up on Ehrlich's research done by Poynter.

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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