Paul Greenberg

We talk about whether newspapers have a future in this age of the blogger. Gosh, I hope so. Just as newspapers had a future in the age of radio, then television, then the internet, although each of those have had their effect. One medium didn't so much replace the other as augment it.

It's still content that counts, not how it's delivered - contrary to that old media guru, Marshall McLuhan. Even today, when distraction rules, the message may still get through, whatever the medium. If we don't believe that, why send it?

A student who's a blogger (isn't everybody these days?) wants to know if bloggers should have the same privileges as more conventional journalists. I don't have any problem with that. My problem is with giving journalists any privileges at all not accorded other citizens. Once we in the press start acting like privileged characters, we'll be as despised as lawyers. Indeed, we already are, and some of us deservedly so.

Our big problem as capital-J Journalists (I'd much rather be just a newspaperman) is that we've confused ourselves with a profession. And as George Bernard Shaw once said, every profession is a conspiracy against the laity. Journalism ought to be a conspiracy forthe laity.

In short, I'm on the young blogger's side. He's entitled to any scoop he can elbow his way through a crowd to get. Like the rest of us.

And so the day went. Fast. My only disappointment was that this year's crop of students at Governor's School didn't seem quite as combative as in some years past. But I attribute that to this not being an election year, when everybody tends to get revved up and/or riled up. Wait'll next year!

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.