Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today in journalism history

If you're going to teach jour- nalism, why not -- have the little monsters learn by making a newspaper come out every day? And with that wisdom in mind, on this day in 1908, did the World's Baddest Journalism School launch the World's Baddest Journalism Teaching Laboratory. The cartoon* is from the top of the first front page.

Journalism education wasn't new. As a downpage story notes, Harvard had 13 journalism graduates in its class of 1908. But a standalone journalism school was -- as were the Missourian (then known as the "University Missourian"), the idea of a journalism PhD, and all sorts of other ideas that came up along the way.

What might your Missourian shift have looked like 102 years ago? Let's see:


It is Trouble Enough to Have Lost
More Than Half His Prisoners,
He Sadly Declares.
Hear now the wail of A. D. Tyson, keeper of the city jail. For "Uncle Mike,'' as he is known to the habitues of the City Hall, is being "investigated." Hard hit by the era of prohibition in Columbia, which has cut down his daily boarders by one-half, "Uncle Mike'' feels that he has had his share of trouble.

... The inquiry was prompted by a petition to Council at the last regular meeting from twenty former prisoners in the jail, who protested that while they were in the care of "Uncle Mike" they were fed the "filthiest, dirtiest and vilest quality of tainted meat and half-cooked bread."

The problem, apparently, is that the jailer's only compensation comes from the 12 cents per inmate daily he's allotted for board, and since the town went dry, it's become a money-losing proposition for him.

Anyway: Happy anniversary to those whose first newspaper (or last) was the Nightmare on Elm Street. May you all get to write a hed like NEWSPAPER POETRY IN TURKEY AT LAST! some day.

(For the record, as a taxpayer, I'd like to express my delight at having a resource like the Library of Congress's "Chronicling America" as close as the nearest computer. What a genuine treasure.)

* Bonus trivia question: Could the baby see the original HEADSUP-L office from where it's sitting?


Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Privatizing the penal system - a bad idea for more than a century!

10:05 AM, September 14, 2010  

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