Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 63.djvu/573

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between two stools, and the prospect is hopeless without some drastic changes. And first among these, if we intend to get out of the present slough of despond, must be the giving up of the idea of relying upon private effort.


The endowment of a school of journalism at Columbia University by Mr. J. Pulitzer has been widely discussed by the press, which it so nearly concerns. There is much difference of opinion as to the value of such a school. It is argued that a newspaper man can get his training best in the office of a newspaper, and that the information of the editor, correspondent and reporter is too general and transient to be the subject of a course of study. On the other hand, it is pointed out that in the other professions there has been a transition from the apprentice method to the professional school, and that schools of journalism may become as essential as schools of law or medicine. It is certainly true that the technical equipment of the journalist is less extensive and definite than that of the physician, the lawyer or the engineer. Preparation for journalism seems, however, to parallel pretty closely preparation for the church or for teaching. The divinity student learns Greek, Hebrew, ecclesiastical history, systematic theology and the like, and it is well that he should do so as a matter of training, but the speedy oblivion that usually follows does not decrease the value of his services as a clergyman; on the contrary, the less he concerns himself with the book of Genesis and any definite system of theology the better. It is well for the clergyman to be a scholar, but Horace or the French Revolution will serve as well as the church fathers. The conditions are similar for the intending teacher. He must know the subject that he is to teach, but this is given in the ordinary college and university courses, as are also English, psychology and other subjects that should be studied. The history and principles of education are about as useful for the teacher as ecclesiastical history and systematic theology for the clergyman. A man can not be taught in a school either to preach or to teach. Yet theological schools and normal schools are on the whole useful institutions. Schools of journalism will probably soon be regarded as equally essential.

The uses of such schools are partly indirect. They serve for example as selective agencies. Men having talent and ambition frequent such schools, and those quite unfit are eliminated before graduation. Even supposing that four years in an engineering school give no better training than actual work in a shop, still those who graduate from the school are likely to be better men than those who do not—employers run less risk in choosing them. Graduates from the Columbia University School of Journalism will probably deserve advancement better and secure it more easily than those who spend the same years in a newspaper office. The coming together of a large number of men having similar interests and plans tends to encourage and stimulate them. When they form part of a great university, where investigation is continually in progress and high ideals of conduct and culture are maintained, they will insensibly conform to their surroundings.

But there are also certain direct uses of professional schools even in subjects such as teaching, commerce and journalism. The student may pursue the same studies as in the ordinary college course, but the quantity and emphasis are different. The intending journalist should study more English, history and political science than the intending physician, and should study them by somewhat different methods. Then there is a certain