That newspapers overemphasize athletics in comparison to the academic and research activities of a college is conclusively proved by a recent survey among the universities. Results show that 128 out of 151 educational executives believe this to be true. The report continues by saying: "The trouble is not so much with the overdoing of athletic news as with the failure to play up proportionately information concerning the academic and research side of college life."
Unquestionably this is the case. The academic side of a university does not receive the publicity that other phases do. Occasionally this is caused by the unwillingness of a specific department to broadcast its findings, believing that the interested parties will soon learn of its progress. But almost without, exception the lack of publicity can be attributed to another reason--there is no glamour for the public in the reading of scientific achievements. Sports and social events have always made a greater general appeal. To the majority of readers these news items are more personal, whereas the advances that scholars have made are "caviar to the general."
The American College Publicity Association, meeting recently, passed resolutions to counteract the widespread publicity that "coon-skins coats and football games" have received in the past. It is their purpose to interest the public in education by releasing to newspapers and syndicates the most recent contributions of colleges and universities in the field of science, and research. This is without doubt a worthy aim. Wider publicity on scientific study is to be desired. But the fact remains that college sports are spectacular, and college scholarship is not. The emphasis placed by the press on sports is also partly the fault of the universities themselves insofar as they provide elaborate equipment and build large stadiums to satisfy public demand. The News is willing to cooperate with the association in its desire to make the latest discoveries in scientific research the common property of all, but sees little hope that any material success toward lessening newspaper emphasis on athletics will by this method be attained. --Yale News