Letters from the Editor: Lessons on Journalism and Life

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University of Missouri Press, 2007 - 195 strán (strany)

William F. Woo, born in China, was the first person outside the Pulitzer family to edit the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the first Asian American to edit a major American newspaper. After forty years in the newsroom, Woo embarked on a second career in 1996 teaching journalism at Stanford University, where he wrote weekly informal essays to his students in the same personal style that characterized his columns for the Post-Dispatch. Each made a philosophical point about journalism and society and their delicate relationship over the last half of the twentieth century.

Woo was revered as both a writer and a reporter, and this volume collects some of the best of those essays to the next generation of journalists on their craft's high purpose. As inspiration for students from someone who knew the ropes, it distills the essence of the values that define independent journalism while offering them invaluable food for thought about their future professions.

The essays touch on a wide range of subjects. Woo reflects on journalism as a public trust, requiring the publication of stories that give readers a better understanding of society and equip them to change it for the better. He also ponders print journalism conducted in the face of broadcast and online competition along with the transformation of newspapers from privately owned to publicly traded companies. Here too are personal reflections on the Pulitzer family's impact on journalism and on the tensions between a journalist's personal and professional life, as well as the conflicts posed by political advocacy versus free speech or a reporter's expertise versus a newspaper's credibility.

Woo's idealistic spirit conveys the virtues of his era's newspaper journalism to the next generation of journalists--and most likely to the next generation of news media as well. Even as new students of journalism have an eye on an electronic future, Woo's essays come straight from a newsman's heart and soul to remind them of values worth preserving.

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Obsah

Introduction by Philip Meyer
1
1Never Be Satisfied with Merely Printing the News
7
2My Old Secondhand Sweater
14
3A Personal Life and an Occupation
18
4A Journalist s Thanksgiving
22
5Our Journalism and Our Humanity
26
6The Great Purpose
30
7Who Owns a Newspaper?
34
24Be Aware of Style
102
25Writing for the Ages
106
26Artists of Small Perfection
110
27The Three Pulitzers and Their Ideals
117
28A Failure to Verify
121
29ReadReadRead
125
30The Importance of Character
129
31Children and War
132

8Stacking the Deck
41
9Writing for the Humble Heart
44
10Knowing Enough
46
11The People Watching in the Distance
50
12Simple Writing Is Not Easy Writing
53
13Choosing the Right Words
57
An Example
61
15Stay with Your Story
67
16We Dissect a Column
71
17Keeping Control
75
18The Importance of a Second Look
79
19Our Changing Popular Culture
83
20Attention to Detail
86
21The Uses of Introspection
89
22A Column Writer s Freedom
93
23The Parable of the Unhappy People
97
32A Case of Libel
136
33Independence from Government
140
34Serving the Public Trust
144
35To Travel FarYou Must Choose a Direction
148
36The Sin of Pride
151
37The Limits of Free Expression
155
38Ethical Journalism versus Journalism Ethics
160
39Avoiding Stereotypes
164
40Narrative Journalism and Its Risks
168
41Beware the Master Narrative
172
42AccuracyAccuracyAccuracy
176
43Reconciling Journalism and Humanity
180
44The Time Has Come
184
Index
189
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About the Author

William F. Woo (1936-2006) was the Lorry I. Lokey Professor of Journalism at Stanford University.

About the Editor Philip Meyer is Knight Chair and Professor of Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author or coeditor of a number of books, including The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age and Assessing Public Journalism, both available from theUniversity of Missouri Press.


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