Things have certainly changed since the 1940s, but are there lessons to be cherry-picked from journalism of old as we move forward into new journalistic domains? Take a look at this video explaining the profession in 1940 from Encyclopedia Britannica.

 

With the future of journalism uncertain, the discussion over whether or not Twitter makes for lazy journalists, and the 24-hour news cycle dominating newsrooms, it's important to sometimes take a step back and remember the foundations of the profession.

Things have certainly changed since the 1940s, but are there lessons to be cherry-picked from journalism of old  (rampant gender-bias not included) as we move forward into new journalistic domains? Take a look at this video explaining the profession in 1940 from Encyclopedia Britannica.

 

 

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Some highlights:

On when a reporter covers an event such as a fire: “Amid the turmoil and confusion, a reporter must think clearly and quickly, and he must get his facts accurate. Assignments of this type may keep the reporter out in bad weather for many hours of hard, tiresome work. But there’s a real thrill in seeing your own byline over a story when it’s in print.” That said, I'd also argue there's a real thrill in Googling yourself and seeing various bylines show up.

On how opinion writing needs to be based in fact, and that this knowledge is power for the editorial writer: “The editorial writer must be able to write on many subjects. But instead of merely reporting news, he analyzes it and explains its meaning, often expressing his personal opinions. He must reason accurately and fairly, and write in an interesting manner. To understand and interpret problems of the day, he must read and study continually, in addition to having a great amount of knowledge and experience.”

The video gives insight into the foundations of journalism that existed in 1940 (including an undeniable gender bias): “News reporting is a young man’s job, for the reporter must have stamina and endurance to withstand the strain of long and strenuous hours of work. He must have the courage and perseverance to ‘get the story,’ despite obstacles.” In other words: No lazy journalism allowed.