Sunday, August 24, 2008

"A Newspaper Is a Collection"

Under "Links" you'll find a poem by Stephen Crane, who's best known as a novelist, but who was also a journalist (and poet), called "A Newspaper Is Collection." What does Crane see as the overriding purpose or purposes of the press? What's his attitude toward how the press of his day -- the poem was written about 1890 -- operates? Is there anything about his description of the press that reminds you of today's media as described by Postman? What in specific? Please respond by noon, Sunday, Oct. 4.

The 10 Most E-Mailed Stories

Examine the 10 Most E-Mailed Stories on the New York Times Web site. When you consider them as a whole, do any consistent themes or preoccupations (on the part of journalists or readers or both) emerge? What does the list suggest is the primary function of the press in America today? Does that make you feel optimistic or pessimistic about the future of journalism, democracy, the planet, etc.?