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It is often suggested that college dailies give more than due proportion in their columns to athletic news thereby misleading the public as to the real interests of students. There is no disputing the fact that a willful public can find through the dailies some grounds for the belief that athletics are the first interest in colleges of today; but we fear that this is a misinterpretation to which the papers must always be more or less exposed, if for no other reason than because they are published daily.
The detail of progress in intellectual pursuits can not be followed; it is only on the final achievement that the interest of outsiders can fasten. Should the entire college devote itself to scholarly work, there would be no need for a daily. News might all be delegated to a monthly publication which should merely review all notable contributions to the intellectual life of the college. The more significant intellectual work is done by the individual; it can not be organized; but the news for a college daily must be drawn from the organized activities of the college. Of these the athletic are the most intense, and by their nature present more of changing interest and excitement from day to day than does any other.
In recent years the attempt has been made by all the better college dailies to alter the proportion of news matter in favor of the various forms of scholarly activity. The attempt has, we think, met with considerable success; but it is hopeless to expect that through the news columns of a daily can be made to appear the relative importance which intellectual work plays in the life of a college. The public, which draws inferences from the proportion of space devoted to different subjects, must come to false conclusions; and none will be more false than that which makes little of the interest felt by the body of Harvard students in scholarly pursuits.
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