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Mrs. Agnes Wahl Nieman several days ago bequeathed $1,000,000 to Harvard University "to promote and elevate the standards of journalism in the United States." * * * The Metropolitan press has acclaimed the value of the award, and the need for increased background knowledge on the part of the journalists. The metropolitan press has said nothing of the real need of America "to promote and elevate the standards of journalism."
* * * * College journalism is not too far a cry from metropolitan journalism for us to realize, as our work on The Dartmouth draws to a close, that America is drunk with NEWS, not with TRUTHS, and that the confusion of "impartial" and "accurate" reporting with genuine portrayal of the actual situation is an evil that reaches deep into the ineffectiveness of our public opinion.
And as we read the acclaim which has greeted Harvard's method of using Mrs. Nicman's million dollar gift, we wonder. . . . We wonder how journalists will feel, after a year's study at Harvard upon "such subjects as they desire" when they are forced to compress and distort their knowledge to fit "hot news" and the style books.
We wonder whether Mrs. Nieman's million dollars might not have been used better to stimulate the real "truths-papers" of America--such as the Sunday "News of the Week" section of The New York Times, such as The Christian Science Monitor, such as The New Republic and The Nation--written not scientifically or objectively, not disjointedly or dispassionately, but rather integrating events into a viewpoint of a whole life. --The Dartmouth.
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