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What Journalism Textbooks Teach Us About Newsroom Ethos
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: Textbooks and Newsroom Ethos 6 been traced back to the19th century, with the 1867 textbook by New York Publisher Jesse Haney, called Haney’s Guide to Authorship, cautioning the editor to “chronicle the facts, but not give opinions.” 15 Early textbooks also contributed to the establishment of a so-called “professional identity” for journalists. 16 A surge in the publishing of such textbooks came with the emergence of journalism as a more serious profession in the early part of the 20 th century. The University of Missouri opened the country‟s first journalism school in 1908. 17 And two years later, in 1910, the Kansas Editorial Association became the first state press association to adopt a code of ethics. 18 Other state press organizations followed, and, in 1923, the American Society of Newspaper Editors adopted the Canons of Journalism. 19 Though the number of journalism school graduates was relatively low for the first half of the century - by 1958, the total stood at 2,500 per year - journalism instructors still were instrumental in instilling professional standards as journalism instruction was begun in 218 U.S. colleges from 1910 to 1940. 20 Early journalism professors were very conscious of the role that they were playing in this movement, and they were explicit about the function of textbooks in this process. In his 1913 textbook, News Reporting and Editing, Willard Grosvenor Bleyer, chairman of the course in journalism, and associate professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin, wrote: “Seven years‟ experience in trying to train college students in methods of newspaper writing and editing has convinced the author of the need of text-books in journalism. Newspapers themselves supply the student with so miscellaneous a collection of good, bad, and mediocre work that, with an uncritical taste, he does not always discriminate in the character of the models which he selects to imitate. Lectures by experienced editors and writers, although fruitful of much inspiration and general information, seldom give the student sufficiently specific and detailed directions to guide him in his daily work.” 21

Authors: McCaffrey, Raymond.
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Running Head: Textbooks and Newsroom Ethos              6 
 
been traced back to the19th century, with the 1867 textbook by New York Publisher Jesse 
Haney, called Haney’s Guide to Authorship, cautioning the editor to “chronicle the facts, but not 
give opinions.”
15
 Early textbooks also contributed to the establishment of a so-called 
“professional identity” for journalists. 
16
A surge in the publishing of such textbooks came with 
the emergence of journalism as a more serious profession in the early part of the 20
th
 century. 
The University of Missouri opened the country‟s first journalism school in 1908.
17
  And two 
years later, in 1910, the Kansas Editorial Association became the first state press association to 
adopt a code of ethics.
18
 Other state press organizations followed, and, in 1923, the American 
Society of Newspaper Editors adopted the Canons of Journalism.
19
 Though the number of 
journalism school graduates was relatively low for the first half of the century - by 1958, the total 
stood at 2,500 per year - journalism instructors still were instrumental in instilling professional 
standards as journalism instruction was begun in 218 U.S. colleges from 1910 to 1940.
20
   
     Early journalism professors were very conscious of the role that they were playing in this 
movement, and they were explicit about the function of textbooks in this process. In his 1913 
textbook, News Reporting and Editing, Willard Grosvenor Bleyer, chairman of the course in 
journalism, and associate professor of journalism at the University of Wisconsin, wrote: “Seven 
years‟ experience in trying to train college students in methods of newspaper writing and editing 
has convinced the author of the need of text-books in journalism. Newspapers themselves supply 
the student with so miscellaneous a collection of good, bad, and mediocre work that, with an 
uncritical taste, he does not always discriminate in the character of the models which he selects 
to imitate. Lectures by experienced editors and writers, although fruitful of much inspiration and 
general information, seldom give the student sufficiently specific and detailed directions to guide 
him in his daily work.”
21
 


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