Oregon Exchanges/Volume 1/Number 6
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For the Newspapermen of the State of Oregon
Breaking the Ice into Journalism
A Review of the Newspaper Situation Since Women Have Been Taking Their Places in the Profession.
By Miriam Page
Women have long been hammering at the insurmountable barrier of ice that has separated them from newspaperdom. Just recently this barrier has given away, and women are eagerly swarming through the gap to take their places in every phase of newspaper work. We see a woman over the top of the editor’s desk wielding with confidence the pen which her predecessor abandoned for the sword. We find her taking up the duties of the advertising manager, who is now computing the distance from one side of No Man’s Land to the other. Armed with a pair of shears, she slashes the telegraph news, impersonating the man who is now practicing his art on a more deserving foe. As reporter she fills the gap left by the young chap that now reports to a superior officer on the western front. And she has not been loath to take the place of the paper carrier just gone to a new job in the shipyards.
In our own state this condition is well exemplified, for newspaper staffs whose only feminine member a year ago was the society editor, now show two or three names prefixed by Miss or Mrs.
Letters to a number of these Oregon newspaper women brought responses full of confidence, determination and that push and enthusiasm which bespeak success. Each of them is well worth printing in full as a separate article under its own signature, and the difficulty in compiling them is one of selecting the best out of an abundance of good.
Vella Winner Encourages Women.
Miss Vella Winner, women’s clubs editor for the Oregon Journal, paints a true picture of conditions as they are, and sounds the note of encouragement to all conscientious women journalists. She says:
“That old line, ‘It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good,’ is splendidly exemplified in the depletion of the staffs of the newspapers of this country and their subsequent filling with women—all a result of the terrible world war. The struggle that women have had against that most terrible of odds, the prejudice of editors against women, based on ignorance, jealousy and a narrowness of vision that blinded them to the fact that women have just as good a news sense, write just as well, have just as much initiative, know how to meet people just as well and are just as hard workers and just as loyal as men, is beginning to be met with some sort of reward, for the shortage of reporters of the male sex has become so acute that editors are forced to take on women. I know of a number of instances where, as a last resort, women have been made members of the reportorial staff, and without a single exception they have made good.
“For years past women have been begging and beseeching for just a try out. Splendid, up-standing, college-bred women have seen themselves refused, while a mere chit of a boy just out of high school, wearing loud ties and smoking cigarettes, and otherwise announcing that he is a man, is given a position, the only possible excuse being that he wore trousers. But, for the last six months, the newspaper woman has come into her own as never before, and the future holds even greater opportunities. The war is getting news paper men in greater numbers than in many of the professions, because it includes so many young men. A small army of women are taking their places, and they are doing in such splendid style the same work hitherto done by men that it is hoped they are establishing such a precedent that in years to come reporters and editors will be given positions on their capabilities alone, regard less of sex.”
Lucile Saunders Visits from Salem.
Miss Lucile Saunders, now telegraph editor on the Oregon Statesman, has been steadily climbing since she left the University of Oregon to take a position as reporter on the Coos Bay Times, and later she worked in the same capacity on the Bend Bulletin. Miss Saunders’ letter says:
“Just now women are the big factor in the newspapers of the state. I’ve heard half a dozen small-town editors within the last month wonder where they could get a reliable woman reporter—men who wouldn’t think of having one around the office a year ago. What were they good for anyhow! True, they could write up the annual reception of the W. C. T. U.—if they have such things—or could keep the office dusted, but generally they cooed too much over the former and mussed up all the sacred stacks of papers in doing the latter. This attitude has changed since last summer. The editor wants a woman who can do a man’s job, sit down and stick it out until it’s accomplished, and then not go off and tell the next fellow what terribly hard work she is doing.
He’s pleased as a youngster with a new toy if he can find a girl who isn’t going to giggle or receive telephone calls from her friends during working hours, or crawfish when she is sent after a political or market story.
“If she isn’t afraid of work and can take a little advice or a scolding from the editor with a stiff upper lip, and if she has confidence in herself, any girl can make good in the newspaper business in the present emergency. When the war is over editors will have been won around to the place where they won’t turn a woman applicant for a position down the first time because ‘there aren’t any vacancies just now in the society or women’s clubs departments.'"
Frances Whitehead Has Rich Experiences.
Miss Frances Whitehead, city editor of the Baker Herald, whose newspaper experience is rich in variation, has followed the general rather than the specialized lines of newspaper work usually given to women. In speaking of her work, she says:
“My work from the start was covering the beat of an experienced newspaper man, and has given me almost every variety of work, from a gun fight to a wedding. I attribute what success I have attained as a newspaper woman to that fact and to my service under a proficient editor. A day is never ended that I do not think over the happenings that have taken place on my news route with a feeling that I have learned many things both of human nature and of a general business value.
“I believe that is the case in most occupations—confidence is the most essential element in newspaper work. My experience has taught me that the women in the work will be equally successful with men.”
Miss Hemenway, who graduated from the University of Oregon when the school of journalism was “but a yearling,” had the advantage of that year, during which she “reported, edited, made up (in theory), business managed, studied grammar and newspaper ethics and deviled generally.” She is now going through what she calls a “seasoning process” on the Cottage Grove Sentinel. She says:
Gets Accuracy and Versatality.
“As to my own experience—seasoning. It has been gained chiefly on a small-town weekly, a most educative institution, I assure you.
“To me it seems that the chief virtues of country newspaper training are two: You must be accurate and you must be versatile, and the work increases your power in both accuracy and versatility.
“You may think it odd that I have not brought out the ‘woman in news paper work’ idea. But I left it out naturally and unconsciously, precisely because woman in journalism is so taken for granted in my own thought. Now for the first time she is taking advantage freely of what was always a suitable field for her, and making good as a matter of course.”
Realizing that women are still at a great disadvantage even in spite of the urgent demand for help, Miss Winner speaks confidently of their superior capabilities, and adds just a word from her own experience to the girl entering journalism:
“There isn’t a duty on a newspaper that a woman cannot perform. Not every woman has the makings of a managing editor, or even of a reporter. Neither has every man; but woman is more adaptable than man; she can do more things. I know of women who have covered big political stories, big murder trials and kindred stuff, and they put it over the men on the same assignment from other papers, while the man who dares write of fashions, better babies and conservation salad does not exist.
“The profession holds more promise for women now than ever before, and I would suggest to the girl who has made up her mind that she wants to follow journalism as a profession, and has satisfied herself that she can deliver the goods, to step right up to the first editorial door at hand and demand, without seeming to demand, a job. The editor will be sure to need someone. Noting your petticoat, he may not admit it; but he has a vacancy.
“Many a city editor still says, ‘When I am obliged to take on a girl cub, I make her first assignment the most difficult and the most disgusting possible, hoping to receive an immediate resignation.’ (How we women are adored by editors!) Just call his bluff, cultivate a bit of a crust, and ‘come through’ with the story. If you do that, let us hope he will not have the temerity to ‘let you out’ at the end of the week. ‘Get it!’—that is the demand made of a reporter. If you do get it, you are a reporter; if you don’t, you are not.”
The very recent influx of women into the newspaper offices of the state makes it impossible to give here a list that would even approximate a true account. There are a number whose work has come under the notice of Oregon Exchanges and deserves a word here.
Miss Clytie Hall has taken a position as reporter on the Pendleton East Oregonian, after making good in a similar position on the Eugene Guard.
Other general reporters in different offices of the state are Miss Freda Hazer, of the Coos Bay Times; Mrs. Gertrude Smith, of the Marshfield Record; Mrs. W. N. Meserve and Miss Madge Fulton, of the Astorian, and Miss Greer, of the Ashland Tidings.
A list of other journalistic positions held by women in Oregon shows an interesting variety. Miss Bessie Berry is editor and publisher of the Long Creek Ranger; Miss Echo Zahl has been writing feature stories for the Portland News, following similar work on the Seattle Star. Edith Knight Holmes edits the women’s clubs section of the Oregonian.
Oregon Has Two Women Linotypers.
Two women linotype operators are Miss Dorothy Kibler, of the Coos Bay Times, and Miss Cora Kreamer, of the Eugene Register. Jeanette Calkins is the first woman business manager the Oregon Emerald of the University of Oregon has ever had, and she is making a go of the finances in a hard year. Mrs. Emma Wootton Hall was the editor of the Woman’s Emerald this year, supervising a staff composed entirely of girls.
A few of the many society editors of the state are Mrs. Gertrude Corbett, of the Oregonian; Miss Nona Lawler, of of the Journal; Miss Beatrice Locke, of the Spectator; Miss Norma Hendricks, of the Eugene Register; Miss Margaret Spangler of the Eugene Guard; Miss Grace Baily, of the Pendleton East Oregonian, and Miss Mignon Allen, of the Astoria Budget.
In a special line of newspaper work is Mrs. Louise Bryant Reed, a graduate of the University of Oregon, and at one time a special writer for the Oregonian. She has lately returned from Russia, where she wrote a series of articles on the Bolsheviki revolution which, syndicated, recently appeared in the Oregonian. At present she is making her headquarters in New York.
Oregon journalism can count a great many more women in its ranks than can be listed in this article. Their work 18 before them, and it will be the privilege of a later number of Oregon Exchanges to note down their achievements.
The New Foreign Advertising Situation
By Frank Jenkins, Editor of the Eugene Register
It has been only a few years since the mention of foreign advertising in any well conducted newspaper office was pretty certain to bring a bored, if not a pained, expression to the face of the publisher. In those days, foreign advertising usually meant medicine advertising, and obtaining a foreign contract was a sort of endurance contest in rate slashing——the publisher who could cut the deepest got the job. Add to this the fact that collection was often a slow and tedious task, bound up with an undue amount of red tape, and it is not hard to realize why the average publisher was not greatly interested in foreign advertising in those days.
And, incidentally, let us be perfectly fair all around. The blame did not rest wholly on the advertiser or the advertising agent. Most publishers did not have fixed and dependable rates, and at least a majority of them could be “jewed down.” It was also too often considered perfectly legitimate to lie like a German official communique about circulation.
But now the whole situation relating to foreign advertising has changed. Mention foreign business in these days to any wide awake publisher and his face will light up like a summer sunrise. Foreign advertising now is the most interesting of all the fields from which the newspaper draws business, and in my opinion it is the field that is capable of greatest enlargement and development. The publisher who approaches the foreign advertising problem with intelligence and industry is certain to profit.
But all I have said hitherto is academic—what we all want to know about foreign advertising is how to get it. We know what it is and how the field has widened in the last two or three years.
Circulation Factor in Advertising
The first step in the direction of getting foreign advertising is building up a circulation which the publisher can offer to his customer with complete confidence in its pulling power. Cover your field thoroughly—whether the field be small or large. If you do that, you can be assured of results, and it is results that will hold your foreign business and keep it growing. A satisfied customer is just as important in the newspaper business as elsewhere.
Another point that is important is never to neglect requests for circulation information. Don’t hesitate to take time to make out all reports that are asked for, it will pay every time. If possible, become a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations; at least segregate and list your circulation so you can give accurate information on it at any time.
Get a good eastern representative. His commissions may look a little large to you at first, but the additional amount of business you will get will much more than make up the difference. It is important to pick out a live man who will give good attention to your field, for a poor business getter is worse than no representative at all. Keep him well supplied with information bearing on your circulation and your territory.
No discussion of foreign advertising, no matter how brief, can overlook the question of cooperation, for cooperation, rightly used, is a powerful weapon in the hands of the newspapers. The magazines cannot furnish it and the newspapers can——and there is no doubt whatever that effective cooperation always interests an advertiser.
The best kind of cooperation is that which seeks to secure complete distribution for any product that is to be advertised in your paper, for without complete distribution no advertising campaign can be successful. The newspaper can give valuable information regarding dealers in its field, and it can impress upon dealers the importance of carrying advertised products and thus connecting up with the advertising that is paid for by the manufacturer. In giving the dealer cooperation, the newspaper should never undertake actual sale of any commodity; that is outside its line and is pretty likely to cause trouble sooner or later. Bringing the dealer and the manufacturer of advertised articles together is the important thing.
It is always a good plan to study your field carefully, and keep up-to—date statistics regarding its business possibilities. Keep lists of dealers in all lines so that, for instance, if you are seeking an advertising contract for a good product you can tell the advertiser just how many grocery stores there are in your territory and, if desirable, put him in touch with them. Study the principal industries of your territory, and keep statistics as to its pay roll. Know how many automobiles there are in your field, for this will help surprisingly in inﬂuencing accessory advertising.
Good Distribution Needed
There is no better plan than keeping in touch with the distribution in your territory of every article that is advertised, or that might be advertised. It is useless to undertake to secure advertising for an article that is not distributed in your field, and good distribution is often an argument that will bring business that could not be secured otherwise. Good distribution is the foundation of successful advertising, and if you can help the advertiser to secure it he will not forget it.
A final point is this: Make a fair rate and stick to it. As soon as it becomes generally known that your rate is fair and that it is the same to all customers, you will have little further trouble from legitimate advertisers or agencies regarding your rate.
The publisher who seeks to build up a large foreign advertising business must take care of it in a businesslike manner. See that all schedules are carried out accurately.
Live up to all position agreements. Acknowledge every order promptly, and see that proof copies are furnished. Give the same careful, personal attention to your foreign accounts that you give to your local accounts.
Time spent in building up a good foreign business is well spent, for the possibilities in this direction are already great and are steadily becoming greater. The newspapers are securing every year a larger share of the total volume of advertising, and it is up to each publisher to do his part to keepthis movement going forward.
Another New Journalism Book
NEWSPAPER BUILDING by Jason Rogers, Editor of the New York Globe. Application of Efficiency to Editing, to Mechanical Production, to Circulation and Advertising, With Cost Finding Methods, Office Forms and Systems. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1918. $3.50 net. Reviewed by James S. Sheehy, a member of the editing class at the University of Oregon.
Any man who has spent 37 years of his life in the publishing and promotional end of the newspaper business, who has allied himself with the big issues
and undertakings ii the field of modern journalism, and who has studied with extreme care during the past six years the newspaper practices and advertising conditions as they actually exist in all the important cities in the United States, is very wellqualified to speak and write on the subject of the building of a newspaper. Jason Rogers, publisher, business man, student, journalist, and editor of the
New York Globe, lB such a man. His recent publication, “Newspaper Build ing,” bespeaks tlat thorough knowledge of the limitless field that he has so carefully investigated. Himself a newspaper builder, he has passed down to rising journalists and editors a guide post for future voyages and voyagers into the field. “ Newspaper 3uilding,” speaks in a matter of fact, unvarnished, untinseled way; it avoids tle general and attacks the specific, and above all breathes the personality of M. Rogers from his long experience in his life work. In its every page thereis a keenness of perception, an insight, coupled with a looking ahead into the flture of journalism. “Newspaper Building” abounds in fact and reality—it 8 full of ‘ ‘ dont’s’ ’ for those who can well use it as their guide in newspaper cvnstruction. Jason Roges deals with the business side of the newspaper, and unravels his story step Jy step. The successes attained by Melville E. Stone with the Chicago DailyNews, Colonel William R. Nelson and the Kansas City Star, Joseph Pulitzr and the New York World, William L. McLean and the Phila delphia Bullein, Adolph S. Ochs and the New York Times, Hugh Graham and the Montreal Star, and the transformation of the Commerial Advertiser into the New Yok Globe over night under H. J. Wright and Mr. Rogers, are all related in tle opening chapter entitled, “Background of Experience.” Honesty fair play to all, and getting all the news and using “all that ’s fit to pl-in” made for the successes of the above sheets. Mr. Rogers char acterizes tle present day Kansas City Star and the Montreal Star as “reflect
ing the bet and greatest in our modern journalism—they stand as models for the backgound of a new newspaper edifice." “Mal: your own paper,” says Rogers to the adventurer in the newspaper field——“ee that your equipment is equal if not superior to that of your com
petitor 1 the field, and get hold of an almost expiring newspaper rather than busing up your fresh dollars in a new undertaking.” Howthe New York Globe, with the aid of a pure, food expert on its staff,
7 a was able to revolutionize the standards of household commodities and add close to 50,000 new readers to its circulation list by carrying out an intensive pure food campaign, the unheralded success of its fashion page and school and home pages, are all described by Mr. Rogers. “You must know your readers if you hope to make any big success in the newspaper bisiness,” adds the author in closing his chapter on “Building up the Property. ”
The Globe plant itself is minutely described: its three-f.oor plan, totalling 15,000 feet of floor space per floor; the five high-speed power presses, equipped with the Kohler system, with full protection of the men by elimination of all starting buttons save one under the control of the pressmm, and the feature of being able to stop the press from any one of six or eigit points, and the full usage of all space saving economies. When your advertising slackens, “keep improving your paper and demon strating results for other advertisers,” is the way Mr. Rigers would bring back the wandering sheep to the fold. He believes that the best rate card by long odds should provide for a heavy one-time contract, wizh heavy discount for a very small contract, and then by gradual further discounts reach a fair minimum below which no business should be taken. He wodd install the use of graphic charts in the newspaper as the ideal method of visualizing news paper records and different points of efficiency. Mr. Rogers opposes all forms of premiums and contests 81d canvasses for
the purpose of increasing circulation.
Without the aid of circulation cam
paigns the Globe has grown from 75,000 to 200,000 a day in seven years.
budget system is absolutely necessary to the efficient carryi1g on of a real newspaper,” insists Mr. Rogers, after long years of experiene. “You must keep absolute close cost of all expenses.
Keep charts for evey expense item
and you will avoid being thrown on the rocks of financial ruin.’
W. F. 'Gilstrap Leaves Eugene Register W. F. Gilstrap, one of the founders of the Morning Regisbr in Eugene, has disposed of his stock in the Register Publishing company, and has re
signed as president, director and manager of the company. He wi retire from the newspaper business and may engage in some war activity, bu he has not yet decided just what it will be. Frank Jenkins, editor of the bgister, was elected president of the company, and there will be no change in be
Hood River News for Sale _ R. B. and L. S. Bennett, who have been owners and publishers of he Hood River News for the past eight years, are offering the business for vale, one of the brothers desiring to enter the United States service. The News 3 known as one of the best weekly newspapers in the state. It was establishedfifteen years ago and caters to a profitable field. Its mechanical equipmcntls com plete and up-to-date, including a linotype, Miehle press, two jobbers, apower cutter, folding machine and a large assortment of type. 8 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/126 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/127 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/128 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/129 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/130 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/131 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/132 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/133 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/134 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/135 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/136 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/137 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/138 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/139 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/140 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/141