Whether through cave paintings, drumbeats, hieroglyphics or printed pages, news has played an important role in people's lives. The Founding Fathers believed that newspapers were so important to a democracy that the 1st Amendment to the Constitution provides for freedom of the press. Learn about the history of news, keep up with current events and try writing your own articles through the direct links on the Times Launch Point Web site: http://www.latimes.com/launchpoint/
Here are the best sites for getting your schoolwork done or for just having fun.
Scholastic News Online: Are you up on the latest news? Test your knowledge of this week's news through an online quiz, express your opinions on current issues or find resources for a school project by searching the ever-growing news archive.
Time for Kids: This news magazine features articles written especially for kids, a "Kid's Views" section where you can vote on current issues and even a forum where you can comment on recent articles such as "Too Much Homework."
Kid News: Kid Writings From Practically Everywhere: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Whether it's Houston third-graders studying owls or Arkansas sixth-graders describing their basketball season, here's your chance to be a reporter by submitting your own news articles and writing reviews on books, computers and sporting events.
Tomorrow's Morning Current Issue: Stay up-to-date with current events through this weekly national newspaper written just for kids. Each edition features international and national events as well as special articles on Americana, science, nature, sports, society and even the stock market.
What Does a Journalist Do? Peek over the shoulder of a high school reporter as he gathers facts for an article, learn a little about the history of American newspapers and find out the difference between journalists and news readers.
Freezone Newz Flash! What's it like to live in a kibbutz or out on the tundra of Nome, Alaska? Whether it's world news or "weird" news, read what kids from all over have to say about life in their hometown or events around the globe.
Encarta: Journalism: Ancient Romans learned about current events in a special edition called "Daily Events." Find out how the printing press and the Industrial Revolution contributed to the history of journalism, read how journalists have served as social critics and learn about the production of newspapers and news broadcasts.
Newseum: The Interactive Museum of News: During the 1930s and '40s, the White House press corps was careful to hide the fact that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was severely disabled. Take a look at the issues behind this story through a visit to the Ethics Center, trace the history of news through a timeline and learn about current issues regarding freedom of the press.
NY Times: Student Connections Home Page: Discover the fascinating world of news through this site that not only features current news from national news bureaus but also articles by student journalists, profiles of news correspondents, reporters' tools and the chance to ask a journalist a question.
Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This column was designed by Amanda Hammond, Janet Han, Christine Kim and Anna Manring.
The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.
What is the difference between a journalist and a columnist?
Clue: What Does a Journalist Do?
Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point now covers more than 80 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to http://www.latimes.com/launchpoint/ for the full list of subjects and direct links to the best Internet sites.
Answer to last week's Quest: Fish have an antifreeze-like substance in their blood called glycopeptide, which keeps them from freezing.