Feb 052007
Authors: Daniel GibsonReinemer

To help give students a national and international perspective, CSU instituted the Collegiate Readership Program. Free copies of USA Today, The New York Times and The Denver Post are now available to broaden the scope of current events on campus.

I offer three reasons to pick up a copy of the Times next time you walk by the newspaper racks: Nicholas Kristof, David Brooks and Thomas Friedman.

Growing up in the D.C. area, I had more than my fill of talking heads offering nothing more than party-line sound bites. The following three op-ed columnists offer a refreshing dose of crisp writing and real insight.

Everyone should read Nicholas Kristof.

Conservatives will enjoy reading about some of the best human rights work and will be pleased to read a journalist not afraid to praise big-hearted Republicans like Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback.

Liberals will see they have no monopoly when it comes to fighting and caring about sexual slavery, poverty and other forms of human misery.

Anyone with half a heart will be inspired to read about phenomenal but underreported humanitarian efforts overseas and tremble at the atrocities that never make it to the front page.

If you want to save the world, start by reading Kristof’s columns.

I encourage liberals to cross the aisle and read David Brooks, whose analysis of social issues like child development and human capital is superb.

While the far right may find him soft on neoconservative dogma, Brooks is adept at looking at American society keenly.

Brooks’ annual Sidney Awards highlight the best essays of the past year. Rather than separate the wheat from the chaff yourself, take some time each December to see what he gathered.

Anyone with a passing interest in the Middle East, environmental and political impacts of energy, or going into business should look to Thomas Friedman. No other voice can match the depth and breadth Friedman has in all three areas.

In the past month, he examined how oil prices are linked to the rise and fall of hostile regimes, why the Arab-Muslim community has produced no equivalent of Martin Luther King, and the potential of Montana’s coal fields to produce cleaner energy.

The views of the columnists often clash. If you enjoyed reading Friedman’s bestseller “The World is Flat,” you’ll find he continues on similar themes. Though he remains grounded in reality and has expansive knowledge of Middle Eastern terrorism, his optimism still shines through.

One the other hand, Brooks probably sees a craggier world. He keeps one eye on the isolated mountains of fanaticism.

Read both, and enjoy twice as many compelling arguments.

Between them, Kristof, Brooks and Friedman have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize five times. While no other paper covers CSU as well as the Collegian, a well-informed student body needs a more global outlook than our staff can provide.

I’m proud to be part of a paper so dedicated to its community, but I hope CSU students pick up another paper as well.

Though there are limited copies of the Times available, Morgan Library’s Web site provides electronic access to these columnists. Using the Academic Universe research database allows you to search for years’ worth of columns or just the most recent one.

Keep reading the Collegian, but take ten minutes out of your day to explore the rest of the world as well.

Daniel Gibson-Reinemer is a fishery and wildlife biology masters student. His column appears every Tuesday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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