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What Journalism Textbooks Teach Us About Newsroom Ethos
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: Textbooks and Newsroom Ethos 8 not be given as his own but as those of others.” 25 Bleyer warned reporters to “(k)eep yourself out of your interviews.” 26 He wrote: “Readers are interested in the statements of the person interviewed, not in the reporter‟s questions or actions,” so consequently “neither the reporter nor his questions and remarks are given a place in the story of an interview.” 27 Bleyer also implied that the reporter‟s detachment should also translate to a capacity to be on guard for emotions that may derail his ability to tell a story: “Don‟t confuse sentiment with sentimentality.” 28 Just as significantly, Bleyer began to plant the seeds for the image of the emotionally-detached reporter quelling emotions when covering traumatic events. To reporters in such scenarios, he advised: “Keep cool, no matter how great the disaster.” 29 Bleyer wrote: “The young reporter must not let himself be carried away by wild reports, and should discount liberally these estimates. By keeping calm no matter how great the catastrophe and attendant excitement, he not only can judge the more accurately of the character of the information that he gets from others, but he inspires a certain amount of calmness in those from whom he is getting his information and thus secures the facts more accurately.” 30 The Attributes of a Reporter: A Detached Detective with a Steady Pulse Ten years after the publication of Bleyer‟s textbook, the American Society of Newspaper Editors crystallized many of the tenets he wrote about in its Canons of Journalism in 1923. The Canons touched on areas such as responsibility, freedom of the press, the obligation to remain independent, sincerity, truthfulness, accuracy, impartiality, fair play and decency. 31 Textbooks reveal that journalism educators wrestled with the implications of the code, as evidenced in Leon Nelson Flint‟s 1925 textbook, The Conscience of the Newspaper; a Case Book in the Principles and Problems of Journalism. Noting that the “subject of ethics has acquired unprecedented prominence in the newspaper world,” Flint wrote that “great progress has been made since 1910

Authors: McCaffrey, Raymond.
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Running Head: Textbooks and Newsroom Ethos              8 
 
not be given as his own but as those of others.”
25
  Bleyer warned reporters to “(k)eep yourself 
out of your interviews.”
26
 He wrote: “Readers are interested in the statements of the person 
interviewed, not in the reporter‟s questions or actions,” so consequently “neither the reporter nor 
his questions and remarks are given a place in the story of an interview.”
27
 
      Bleyer also implied that the reporter‟s detachment should also translate to a capacity to be on 
guard for emotions that may derail his ability to tell a story: “Don‟t confuse sentiment with 
sentimentality.”
28
 Just as significantly, Bleyer began to plant the seeds for the image of the 
emotionally-detached reporter quelling emotions when covering traumatic events. To reporters in 
such scenarios, he advised: “Keep cool, no matter how great the disaster.”
29
 Bleyer wrote: “The 
young reporter must not let himself be carried away by wild reports, and should discount 
liberally these estimates. By keeping calm no matter how great the catastrophe and attendant 
excitement, he not only can judge the more accurately of the character of the information that he 
gets from others, but he inspires a certain amount of calmness in those from whom he is getting 
his information and thus secures the facts more accurately.”
30
   
    The Attributes of a Reporter: A Detached Detective with a Steady Pulse 
     Ten years after the publication of Bleyer‟s textbook, the American Society of Newspaper 
Editors crystallized many of the tenets he wrote about in its Canons of Journalism in 1923. The 
Canons touched on areas such as responsibility, freedom of the press, the obligation to remain 
independent, sincerity, truthfulness, accuracy, impartiality, fair play and decency.
31
 Textbooks 
reveal that journalism educators wrestled with the implications of the code, as evidenced in Leon 
Nelson Flint‟s 1925 textbook, The Conscience of the Newspaper; a Case Book in the Principles 
and Problems of Journalism. Noting that the “subject of ethics has acquired unprecedented 
prominence in the newspaper world,” Flint wrote that “great progress has been made since 1910 


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