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What Journalism Textbooks Teach Us About Newsroom Ethos
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: Textbooks and Newsroom Ethos 7 Bleyer had organized Wisconsin‟s journalism department in 1912, setting the groundwork for the creation of the university‟s School of Journalism in 1927. 22 Grant Milnor Hyde, Bleyer‟s colleague at Wisconsin, and at one time the director of the university‟s School of Journalism, would remember “the rapid development of textbooks as one of the most interesting aspects of the work” that was then known as “the college project”: “These struggling books brought the means whereby the subject has been standardized and developed, the means whereby teachers have exchanged ideas and experience, the means whereby the project has been brought concretely to the attention of the publishing world.” 23 Hyde also wrote that, despite the existence of so-called textbooks in the 19 th century, the first journalism instructors at the start of the professionalism movement believed that they were beginning with a clean slate: “In 1905 when the University of Wisconsin launched its course in journalism – being the first university to undertake such a project that has survived without break – there were, of course, no textbooks at all. By 1910, when I began teaching, there were five or six books on the journalism teacher‟s desk – mainly handbooks by newspapermen. The next ten years saw the laying of a foundation for the journalists‟ textbook library – at least twenty-five pioneering analyses of newspaper work in general or of newspaper reporting in particular (as well as five on advertising) – almost all of them written by the pioneer teachers …” 24 Hyde lists Bleyer as one of those teachers. In his 1913 textbook, Bleyer mapped out the principles that would be embodied in the journalism codes of the time. First and foremost was the idea of impartiality: “Young reporters often insist on giving their own views on the subject on which they are trying to interview a person. The reporter should remember that he is an impartial observer, not an advocate on one side or the other. If in an effort to get information from the person whom he is interviewing he suggests opposing opinions, these opinions should

Authors: McCaffrey, Raymond.
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Running Head: Textbooks and Newsroom Ethos              7 
 
    Bleyer had organized Wisconsin‟s journalism department in 1912, setting the groundwork for 
the creation of the university‟s School of Journalism in 1927.
22
 Grant Milnor Hyde, Bleyer‟s 
colleague at Wisconsin, and at one time the director of the university‟s School of Journalism, 
would remember “the rapid development of textbooks as one of the most interesting aspects of 
the work” that was then known as “the college project”: “These struggling books brought the 
means whereby the subject has been standardized and developed, the means whereby teachers 
have exchanged ideas and experience, the means whereby the project has been brought 
concretely to the attention of the publishing world.”
23
 Hyde also wrote that, despite the existence 
of so-called textbooks in the 19
th  
century, the first journalism instructors at the start of the 
professionalism movement believed that they were beginning with a clean slate: “In 1905 when 
the University of Wisconsin launched its course in journalism – being the first university to 
undertake such a project that has survived without break – there were, of course, no textbooks at 
all. By 1910, when I began teaching, there were five or six books on the journalism teacher‟s 
desk – mainly handbooks by newspapermen. The next ten years saw the laying of a foundation 
for the journalists‟ textbook library – at least twenty-five pioneering analyses of newspaper work 
in general or of newspaper reporting in particular (as well as five on advertising) – almost all of 
them written by the pioneer teachers …”
24
 
     Hyde lists Bleyer as one of those teachers. In his 1913 textbook, Bleyer mapped out the 
principles that would be embodied in the journalism codes of the time. First and foremost was 
the idea of impartiality: “Young reporters often insist on giving their own views on the subject 
on which they are trying to interview a person. The reporter should remember that he is an 
impartial observer, not an advocate on one side or the other. If in an effort to get information 
from the person whom he is interviewing he suggests opposing opinions, these opinions should 


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