"A Journalist's View:" Looking Backward at Us, William Raspberry. 1991.
Journalists are often the most opinionated and outspoken media figures. Since they are given a lot of freedom in their writing, their opinions naturally figure prominently in their pieces. Syndicated columnists are among the lucky few that get paid to state their beliefs freely; being published in a daily newspaper is a benefit to their careers that journalists do not fail to take advantage of.
William Raspberry is a syndicated columnist in the Washington Post, who has some very strong opinions about the state of America today. This book compiles sixty-one of Raspberry's strongest essays that have been published in the Post over the years, most of them written in the 1980s, consisting of his musings on education, criminal justice, family, and racial matters. In the book's jacket, Raspberry is quoted as saying that he is neither liberal nor conservative in his views, which this compilation proved.
I found his views to be quite reasonable, even agreeing and sympathizing with many.
I found the first two of his editorials dealing with education to be the strongest. The first one, "In Search of Better Teachers", states Raspberry's opinion that there has been a recent decline in the quality of education due to the output and confidence of today's teachers. The good ones, Raspberry argues, are few and far between, probably because teaching has become a less and less respected profession. I agreed with Raspberry's opinion that this may have occurred because teaching used to be one of the only professions available to women; now, many more job opportunities have become available to women, making teaching a less desirable profession.
Hand in hand with this view comes Raspberry's next essay, "Let Children Be Children". He used to agree with the...