"The key skills of introductory journalism courses - research, critical
thinking, organizing, and clear expression - are also the key skills that the
university tries, but often fails, to teach all students as part of their
liberal education. Indeed journalists have refined these skills to a much
higher degree than have people in many other disciplines." Betty Medsger, Winds of Change
Last Friday, Washington, D.C.’s blizzard began sometime after the anti-abortion March for Life began, but before protesters reached the Supreme Court. The snow couldn’t stop a Franciscan friar, though. He kept on walking, barefoot, down the streets, singing hymns with other marchers. A long column of students, all in yellow, chanted a few choruses of “Pro-choice, that’s a lie! Babies never choose to die!” and then started up a call-and-response rosary with a bullhorn.
Not far away, I was cracking ice off of the tips of my touch-screen gloves and surveying protesters, trying to learn who had come to the march and what kind of post-post-Roe v. Wade world they wanted to build. I approached every fifth marcher I saw and interviewed 60 people over the four-hour event.1 It’s not a sample I’d publish in an academic journal or anything, but it let me learn more about the movement than I could from staid news reports of how many people showed up.