Journalism 1908: Birth of a Profession

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The year 1908 was not remarkable by most accounts, but it was an auspicious year for journalism. As newspapers sought to recover from big-city yellow journalism and circulation wars that reached their boiling point a few years earlier during the Spanish-American War, press clubs began to champion higher education. And schools dedicated to journalism education, led by the University of Missouri, began to emerge. Now sanctioned by universities, journalism could teach acceptable behavior and establish credentials. It was nothing less than the birth of a profession.

Journalism 1908 opens a window on mass communication a century ago. It tells how the news media in the United States were fundamentally changed by the creation of academic departments and schools of journalism, by the founding of the National Press Club, and by exciting advances that included early newsreels, the introduction of halftones to print, and even changes in newspaper design.

Journalism educator Betty Houchin Winfield has gathered a team of well-known media scholars, all specialists in particular areas of journalism history, to examine the status of their profession in 1908: news organizations, business practices, media law, advertising, forms of coverage from sports to arts, and more. Various facets of journalism are explored and situated within the country’s history and the movement toward reform and professionalism—not only formalized standards and ethics but also labor issues concerning pay, hours, and job differentiation that came with the emergence of new technologies.

This overview of a watershed year is national in scope, examining early journalism education programs not only at Missouri but also at such schools as Colgate, Washington and Lee, Wisconsin, and Columbia. It also reviews the status of women in the profession and looks beyond big-city papers to Progressive Era magazines, the immigrant press, and African American publications.

Journalism 1908 commemorates a century of progress in the media and, given the place of Missouri’s School of Journalism in that history, is an appropriate celebration of that school’s centennial. It is a lode of information about journalism education history that will surprise even many of those in the field and marks a seminal year with lasting significance for the profession.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826218117
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Edition description: 25 illustrations, index
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Betty Houchin Winfield is University of Missouri Distinguished Curators’ Professor and the author of three books, including FDR and the News Media.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Emerging Professionalism and Modernity Betty Houchin Winfield Winfield, Betty Houchin 1

Pt. 1 The Scene in 1908 15

Ch. 1 1908: A Very Political Year for the Press Betty Houchin Winfield Winfield, Betty Houchin 17

Ch. 2 From Whiskey Ads to the Reverend Jellyfish: Media Law in 1908 Sandra Davidson Davidson, Sandra 32

Pt. II Modernization: Journalism Comes of Age 51

Ch. 3 Community Journalism: A Continuous Objective William Howard Taft Taft, William Howard 53

Ch. 4 Press Clubs Champion Journalism Education Stephen Banning Banning, Stephen 65

Ch. 5 Philosophy at Work: Ideas Made a Difference Hans Ibold Ibold, Hans Lee Wilkins Wilkins, Lee 82

Pt. III Institutional Rumblings and Change 101

Ch. 6 Power, Irony, and Contradictions: Education and the News Business Fred Blevens Blevens, Fred 105

Ch. 7 The Age of "Glory and Risk": The Advertising Industry Finds Its Worth Caryl Cooper Cooper, Caryl 128

Pt. IV Journalism's Extended Family 145

Ch. 8 Work in Progress: Labor and the Press in 1908 Bonnie Brennen Brennen, Bonnie 147

Ch. 9 Good Women and Bad Girls: Women and Journalism in 1908 Maurine H. Beasley Beasley, Maurine H. 162

Pt. V General Assignment Plus 181

Ch. 10 Sports Journalism and the New American Character of Energy and Leisure Tracy Everbach Everbach, Tracy 185

Ch. 11 Enter, Stage Right: Critics Flex Their Muscles in the Heyday of Live Performances Scott Fosdick Fosdick, Scott 200

Ch. 12 1908: The Beginnings of Globalization in Journalism Education John C. Merrill Merrill, John C. Hans Ibold Ibold, Hans 216

Ch. 13 The Look of 1908: Newspaper Design's Status at a Turning Point in JournalismEducation Lora England Wegman Wegman, Lora England 231

Pt. VI Journalism's Concurrent Voices 261

Ch. 14 Reform, Consume: Social Tumult on the Pages of Progressive Era Magazines Janice Hume Hume, Janice 265

Ch. 15 Foreign Voices Yearning to Breathe Free: The Early Twentieth-Century Immigrant Press in the United States Berkley Hudson Hudson, Berkley 283

Ch. 16 Forced to the Margins: The Early Twentieth-Century African American Press Earnest Perry Perry, Earnest Aimee Edmondson Edmondson, Aimee 303

Conclusion, 1908: The Aftermath Betty Houchin Winfield Winfield, Betty Houchin 317

About the Contributors 333

Index 337

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