On occasion I have noted people canceling their newspaper subscriptions because they are angry about the contents of the editorial pages – angry that something, be it a column, political cartoonist or even a letter to the editor, has expressed a view different from their own. Like the angry folks who yell incoherently at the television set when something comes on that they they don’t care for, these Lost Souls haven’t quite figured out that if they come across something they don’t like, well, they don’t have to read it, skipping instead to something else.
For the most part, they aren’t angry about the actual news in the paper, which makes their ire all the more puzzling. They understand the sports pages, and even the comics pages, though occasionally the mere existence of certain cartoons can drive them to distraction. And no, “Doonesbury” ain’t the the cause for their complaints. It is usually some small cartoon, hidden amongst all the other comics, which infuriates them.
There are occasional complaints about the news, but these usually follow the mass herd talking points of the week – lots of complaints but little understanding.
Which brings me to my main thesis; we have journalism classes for those who wish to pursue a career in the field, but none for those who simply read and understand the newspaper.
Yes, Sacrificial Reader, I am talking about a class on how to read a newspaper.
Yeah, I know: How patronizing! How elitist!
But I think the need for such a class is borne out by a…
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