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What Journalism Textbooks Teach Us About Newsroom Ethos
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: Textbooks and Newsroom Ethos 22 martyr- reporters who had perished while covering wars. In the forward to the 1978 textbook, Investigative Reporting and Editing, by Paul N. Williams of Ohio State University, Ben H. Bagdikian Bagdikian focused on the noble qualities of the book‟s author, a legendary investigative reporter who died of a heart attack at the age of 54, four months after Bagdikian met him at the founding convention of Investigative Reporters and Editors in 1976. Bagdikian, an esteemed print journalist then at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote: “He represented something new and different in modern American journalism. He knew that the mechanical and technical skills were important, that you must get details accurately in hand, and that you must be capable of fast work. But he also knew something far more important. You need a sense of morality about your society and you need to accept personal responsibilities for your role in that society. 80 In his account, Bagdikian recast the image of the heroic journalist in a new light for a new age of journalists. Investigative reporters were at once about getting the facts, accurately and quickly – a newsroom ethos that had been in the making for seventy years. However, unlike war correspondents, the greatest danger they faced might come from within not from without: Investigative reporters were in peril of succumbing to the strain that accompanied the relentless pursuit of a story, although it seemed certain that such a death would be in service to a higher good. Conclusion: The Creation of a True Mythology Two years after the publication of Investigative Reporting and Editing, the American Psychological Association first added PTSD to its Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel in 1980, after determining that Vietnam War veterans exhibited symptoms of distress that could be tied to

Authors: McCaffrey, Raymond.
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Running Head: Textbooks and Newsroom Ethos              22 
 
martyr- reporters who had perished while covering wars. In the forward to the 1978 textbook, 
Investigative Reporting and Editing, by Paul N. Williams of Ohio State University, Ben H. 
Bagdikian Bagdikian focused on the noble qualities of the book‟s author, a legendary 
investigative reporter who died of a heart attack at the age of 54, four months after Bagdikian 
met him at the founding convention of
 
Investigative Reporters and Editors in 1976. Bagdikian, 
an esteemed print journalist then at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote: “He 
represented something new and different in modern American journalism. He knew that the 
mechanical and technical skills were important, that you must get details accurately in hand, and 
that you must be capable of fast work. But he also knew something far more important. You 
need a sense of morality about your society and you need to accept personal responsibilities for 
your role in that society.
80
  
 
     In his account, Bagdikian recast the image of the heroic journalist in a new light for a new age 
of journalists. Investigative reporters were at once about getting the facts, accurately and quickly 
– a newsroom ethos that had been in the making for seventy years. However, unlike war 
correspondents, the greatest danger they faced might come from within not from without: 
Investigative reporters were in peril of succumbing to the strain that accompanied the relentless 
pursuit of a story, although it seemed certain that such a death would be in service to a higher 
good.  
Conclusion: The Creation of a True Mythology 
     Two years after the publication of Investigative Reporting and Editing, the American 
Psychological Association first added PTSD to its Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel in 1980, 
after determining that Vietnam War veterans exhibited symptoms of distress that could be tied to 


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