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AMERICAN MOSAIC - Grammys / Award-Winning Children's Literature / Study Finds Internet Top Source of Information for Americans - 2003-02-20

Broadcast: February 21, 2003



Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC -- VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.


This is Doug Johnson. On our program today:

We play some music nominated for a Grammy Award ...

Tell about a new study of Internet use in the United States ...

And report about the winners of two awards for the best children’s books.

Newberry & Caldecott Award Winners


Each year, the American Library Association presents awards for the best books for children. The Newbery and Caldecott awards honor excellence in writing and art in children’s literature. The winners were announced at a meeting of the association last month. Shep O’Neal tells us about them.


A thirteen-year-old boy living in fourteenth century England is the hero of the book that won the Newbery Award for writing. The book is called “Crispin: The Cross of Lead.” Crispin is accused of murder and must run away from his village. A juggler becomes his protector and teacher. Crispin was a teenager seven-hundred-years ago. Yet he was searching for freedom like many young people today. The head of the committee that names the Newbery Award winner says readers can “see, hear, smell, taste and feel” Crispin’s world.

The book was written by Avi, a popular American writer who uses only one name. Avi is from New York City. He says he was not a good student in school. He did not start writing stories for children until he had children of his own. He says it takes about one year for him to write one book. Avi urges his young readers to “Listen and watch the world around you. Do not be satisfied with answers others give you. Work to get answers on your own. Understand why you believe things.”

The Caldecott Medal for the best artwork in children’s books in the United States went to Eric Rohmann. Mister Rohmann wrote and drew the pictures for the book “My Friend Rabbit.” In the story, a mouse shares a new toy airplane with his friend the rabbit. The airplane lands in a tree. So the rabbit gets an elephant, a crocodile and a hippopotamus to help rescue the plane. All of these animals fall on and off the pages in a very funny story for young children.

Mister Rohmann made the pictures for the story with woodcuts. To make a woodcut, the artist cuts designs or pictures in wood. The artist prints the pictures on paper and then paints them. The head of the Caldecott Award committee says the pictures show a lot of energy and bright colors. One group of children said the eyes of the animals tell a lot of the story.

UCLA Internet Study


A recent university study asked more than two-thousand Americans who use computers where they get most of their information. The answer may surprise you. Mary Tillotson has more.


The University of California at Los Angeles did the study. It says about sixty-one percent of the people said the Internet was their most important source of information. The other answers were books, newspapers, television, radio and magazines.

Jeffrey Cole is the Director of the UCLA Center for Communications Policy. He says the Internet has become the most popular information source after existing for only about eight years as a communications tool. Mister Cole says this is the third year that UCLA has done the study. It is the first time the Internet was the top answer.

Mister Cole said people are able to gather information much quicker now than in the past. He said this may be the main reason for the increased use of the Internet as an information-gathering tool.

However, the UCLA study also showed a decrease in the number of people who trust the information they find on the Internet. Two years ago, fifty-eight percent of those questioned said they believed the information on the Internet was true. In the latest study, only about fifty-three percent of the people said they would trust information from the Internet.

Mister Cole says this could be a problem for Internet information in the future. How long will it be before people no longer value what they learn on the Internet?

The study showed the Internet is extremely popular and is continuing to grow. About seventy percent of Americans now use the Internet. Sixty percent of them are linked to the Internet at home. That is an increase of more than thirteen percent in only two years. The study also showed that almost thirty percent of Americans do not use the Internet. Their main reason is not understanding the technology. Some people say they are afraid to try using the Internet.

The UCLA report also showed that the Internet continues to grow as an important business and professional tool. It said that most Internet users are happy with it. The users said they are most satisfied to be able to communicate with other people very quickly.

The Grammy Awards


Our VOA listener question this week comes from Nigeria. Dare Omosowon wants to know about the Grammy Awards that will be presented on Sunday.

The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has presented Grammy Awards every year since nineteen-fifty-eight. The awards recognize excellent recordings and those who create them. The award is a small statue shaped like the early record player called a gramophone. The word “Grammy” is a short way of saying gramophone.

Eighteen-thousand members of the Recording Academy choose the best work each year. Awards are given for spoken word albums and for many kinds of music, including jazz, classical, country, rap, and rhythm and blues.

One of the most important Grammy Awards is for “Album of the Year”. The award goes to the recording artist and to the album’s producers and engineers.

This year, the Dixie Chicks’ album “Home” is nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy. Here is a song from that album, “Long Time Gone.”


Another album nominated for this Grammy Award is “The Eminem Show” by Eminem. A third nominated album is “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones. Here is a song from that album, “Shoot the Moon”.


The fourth nominated album is by Nelly. It is called “Nellyville. And the final album nominated for “Album of the Year” is by Bruce Springsteen. We leave you now with the title song from the album, “The Rising.”



This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC -- VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.

This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Karen Leggett, Nancy Steinbach and Paul Thompson. Our studio engineer was Jim Harmon. And our producer was Paul Thompson.