This week's seminar at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism was quite interesting. Based on my own experiences, I would not have expected to find as many prior service people still in the profession as were in the group. It was an interesting group, from a couple who were almost the stereotype of pure-journalism-vs.-blogger-rabble to a freelancer who was rabidly pro-Marine.
A topic that came up in a couple of conversations is one where your thoughts and suggestions are most needed. At the National Press Club, I had an extended dinner conversation with a young man who has had his mores (cultural blinders) quite set askew where the military is concerned. So much so, he has recognized something that still eludes many of his elders as well as his peers: There is a serious and growing disconnect between the military and the rest of the citizenry/civilian public. This young man is genuienly and rightly concerned about it and we spend a good deal of time discussing some of the how it came about and a bit on what to do to fix it. During the week, I heard a range of ideas, from re-instituting the draft from one who had served in the draftee army of years past, to some more creative suggestions. I have my own ideas, but I have a great deal of respect for the intellectural capital that is in our readers, so I ask you:
What would you recommend doing to fix this growing and extremely problematical cultural divide?