From the introductory.
Journalism, portrait record of the life and interests of humanity, expression of contemporary thought, interpretation of a people's heart and mind, is everywhere. Sometimes the record is blurred or blotched, the expression distorted and unfair, the interpretation stifled and inaccurate. The journalist, who is by turn and in different place, recorder, advocate, buyer and seller of news, entertainer, judge, tribune, teacher, interpreter, public servant, has all countries for his own. Sometimes, because of fault or circumstance beyond his control or avoidable, he gives undue emphasis to one or another aspect of his kaleidoscopic calling. Journalism, universal in its concern, existence and appeal, is a world-profession. As a world-profession it is fairly representative of the world. Altogether, whatever the apparent exceptions, journalism is everywhere better than the average man would make it, if it has not everywhere attained to what the best would wish. And the tendency in the world's journalism is toward higher things.
The history of the world's journalism shows the press at various times as chronicle, political pamphlet, organ of special interest, buffoon, propagandist, news-record, disturber of the public peace, promoter of the public welfare. It has grown from the news-letter of the coffee house and the official gazette of the court into a social institution powerful for good or evil. In lands where there are no seasons grain may be seen in all stages of growth side by side from seeding unto harvest. In consideration of the world's press today its history may be observed unfolding itself from the veriest news-summary of the less civilized countries to the all-embracing newspaper of social service in nations we call more civilized. Journalism, though everywhere, has its fullest development in the most modern civilization. It flourishes best amid intelligence and freedom.
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