REVIEW of REVIEWS

London Journalistic School Founded

Need of Practical Training—Three Faults of Young Journalists

LORD NORTHCLIFFE April 15 1921
REVIEW of REVIEWS

London Journalistic School Founded

Need of Practical Training—Three Faults of Young Journalists

LORD NORTHCLIFFE April 15 1921

London Journalistic School Founded

Need of Practical Training—Three Faults of Young Journalists

LORD NORTHCLIFFE

A RECENT assembly at the Savoy Hotel, London, Eng., of many of the most famous newspaper proprietors and distinguished literary men of the day naturally excited great interest, both by reason of the brilliancy of the company and the purport of the gathering.

“The occasion was a private luncheon given by Mr. Max Pemberton and the Directors of the London School of Journalism to celebrate the successful establishment of an educational centre for the training of young journalists and fiction writers.

“In the absence of Lord Northcliffe, who, but for illness, would have presided, the Editor of the Times (Mr. Wickham Steed) took the chair. But although Lord Northcliffe was unfortunately unable to be present, he manifested his kindly interest in the school by sending in M.S. the speech he had intended to deliver. This was read by Mr. Wickham Steed, who added some very characteristic remarks of his own upon the subject of journalism as a career.

“In the course of his address Lord Northcliffe said : ‘It is argued that journalism cannot be taught, that it is a gift which you either have or never will have, which springs from the mind, fully equipped, like Athene from the mind of Zeus. This may be go; inspiration may carry some people a long way, but it will not carry every one all the way; it must be tempered by experience of the most painful kind, by years of dearly-bought study in the school of rejection and disappointment.

“ ‘Even in golf I think some of my friends will admit they have derived benefit from professional instruction. This may be less the case with journalism than with other arts and professions, though I do not know why it should be. In every profession there are some men who are

bound to make good, and many who will never pass the stage of mechanical drudgery, and perhaps it is possible for a man to make good earlier in journalism than in most other professions.

“ ‘There can be very few young writers who are not obliged to consider their vocation in the light of the income it will bring them, and to make the interval of waiting for an income as short as possible. On the other hand, the proprietors and editors of journals are still permitted to exercise a certain discretion as to what they will or will not accept for publication. I am sure that every editor will agree that he receives far more copy than he can print on the limited supply of paper allowed him, and that, except in very rare cases where real talent displays itself in an uncouth form, the knowledge and use of what I have called the technical formulas is the criterion between acceptance and rejection.

“ ‘Perhaps young writers are apt to form the opinion that editors are self-satisfied and bloodthirsty men who enjoy nothing so much as returning belated manuscripts (even where a stamped envelope has not been enclosed) with a polite expression of their feigned regret. I have met a good many editors in the past forty years, and if I ever shared this impression, I have long abandoned it. The editors I know are always on the look out for fresh talent, and immensely pleased when they find it. What they much more frequently find are manuscripts which are so badly phrased that the point, if any, is lost in a wilderness of words, or which are too long, or are wholly out of tune with what their readers expect to find in their pages.

“ ‘For each of these three faults the London School of Journalism provides a remedy.’ ”