"A Journalist's View" Looking Backward At Us By William Raspberry Ap Government Book Review

1081 words - 4 pages

"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 way the Japanese raised their children; of course, there was the pressure in Japanese society to be an academian and go on to a good school, but this method of raising children to be scholars seemed better than the American method of raising their children to be slackers. However, the recent violence in Japan committed by students under pressure convinced him that perhaps the Japanese opinion that school was everything to a child was not right; children should be allowed to be children.Raspberry's views on parenting seemed strongly linked to his views on education; he contends that the quality of parenting these days is not what it used to be. ("Parenting: A Lost Art?"). Also, in his essay "Teaching the Parents", Raspberry expresses his opinion that there are some parents who need to be taught how to be parents. Parental love comes naturally, states Raspberry, but parental skills need to be learned. These views contribute to Raspberry's apparent view that things aren't what they used to be; we as a people need to return to good, solid, old-fashioned values like our grandparents and great-grandparents used to have. American society is becoming...

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