The New Student's Reference Work/Journalism

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Journalism, the art of making newspapers, is becoming very important with the rapid growth of the newspaper.  The daily paper, which must be in every man’s hand in the early morning hours or ready for his evening’s rest, is the product of more than a hundred brains.  The editor-in-chief decides the political policy; his staff is composed of a number of subeditors or editors of departments — the city editor, the foreign editor, the telegraph editor, the financial editor, the agricultural editor etc.  The city editor, next to the chief editor, is the most important.  He has a large staff of reporters who gather the news of the day in the city where the paper is published.  The managing editor on a large paper often is not the same person as the chief editor, but is the business manager.  The night editor puts the paper to press — if it is a morning paper — decides all questions as to type, surplus matter, “boiling down” or condensing communications, not hesitating to cut down the work of all the other editors.  The advertisements he cannot alter or throw out, as they have been paid for, and the reading matter must take what space is left.  Reporters hold the lowest position on the literary staff.  They usually begin work without a salary, and are paid only for what they write.  Their work is hard — often dangerous and exciting.  They must keep ahead of rival journals in gathering the news, and often have many disagreeable experiences and even hairbreadth escapes in their frantic rush for the latest information.  As they show their fitness they are raised to the grade of special correspondents, sent to the legislatures and congress, European cities and seats of war.  Nearly all large newspapers have offices in London and Paris, and by taking advantage of the five hours’ difference of time the news of the morning papers of Europe can be gathered and sent to the morning papers in the United States.  The subeditors are usually taken from the reporters and special correspondents.  Journalism has become a distinct profession, and there are schools of journalism and chairs of journalism in some colleges.  See Newspapers.