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by Charles Dudley Warner
Our theme for the hour is the American Newspaper. It is a subject in
which everybody is interested, and about which it is not polite to say
that anybody is not well informed; for, although there are scattered
through the land many persons, I am sorry to say, unable to pay for a
newspaper, I have never yet heard of anybody unable to edit one.
The topic has many points of view, and invites various study and comment.
In our limited time we must select one only. We have heard a great deal
about the power, the opportunity, the duty, the "mission," of the press.
The time has come for a more philosophical treatment of it, for an
inquiry into its relations to our complex civilization, for some ethical
account of it as one of the developments of our day, and for some
discussion of the effect it is producing, and likely to produce, on the
education of the people. Has the time come, or is it near at hand, when
we can point to a person who is alert, superficial, ready and shallow,
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