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A Real Journalist

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Cau journahsm be learned by rules? This question as to whcther journalism can ever become a normal career. like other recognized careers, has always bannted and even, I may say, besieged tue. And indeed it would be strange if this were not the case. For the knowledge requisito to make a pair of boots, or a hat, or a pair of gloves may be taught accorciing to establishod principies and fixed rules ; by dissection of the dead human body rnay be discover - ed the laws of medicine and the best methods of curing the living; a lawyer may learn in the schools the modes of procedure and exact precedents of his profesión ; the art of war, its rules and precepts - indeed throughout the entire list of hnman professions there is for each a special series of laws and conditions by knowledge of which he who enters as an apprentice may go out, by slow degrees of advancement, a master. But in journalism alone among professions this is not the case. In this career there is no body of doctrine, no series of fixed rules, apparently no possible method of instrnction. Nowhete has thert been an attempt to establish such laws, nowhere bas there as yet been a school for journalist apprentices, where they inight learn precise rules for their profession or obtain a recoguized basia of preliminary and indispensable knowledge, and yet journalisrn governs the world and is beooming daily a more and more influential power. The problem is really pressing, and even becauso of its very difflculty fascinating to the mind. Men who cannot make tip their minds to follow another's lead along a path to be traced slowly, step by step, often leave the slower and more regular professions to enter journalism, much as formerly mercenaries engaged themselves to this and that foreign army, quite willing to fight at random on the morrow against an enemy whose very existence the night bef ore was unknown to thein. Once become journalists, they chauge their newspaper, as formerly they changed their profession or career. They jump from grave to gay, from the political journal to the jonrnal of satire. They become at will reporters, chroniclers, art critics, literary reviewers, not seeking in any way to study the course of eveuts', the drift of the times, but, on the other hand, fitting all contemporaiy ideas and events to the measure of their own personal temperament, so t' :í! an event or problem, thustreated acc..i.Kng to iie fanoy of a journalist, appeara trágica 1 or comic, without any soit of regard for its real character. Insiead of describiug it as it is, establishiug the principie which it illustrates, they scatter abroad confusión and produce in ,the public mind a condition of uncertaiu kaleidoscopic eclecticisin which is the negation of all really authoritative opinión and the destróyer of all conviction. To obtain a place in journalism an entire series of capacitios is required, all to be summed up, but not defined, in the single word talent. The absolutely ignorant, men without imagination, without inteilligence, without the gift of assimilation, without, let me add, audacity and gayety, cannot obtain a place, cannot succeed in journalism. The man who would enter a school of journalism should feel a positivo "cali" to this vocation, should have iu hiin the unwearying vigilance which is an absolute condition of it, the love of danger - of civil danger, that is - and real peril, a boundless curiosity and love for truth, and a special and rnarked facility of rapid assimjlation and comprehension. Take a young man possessing the first scholarly diplomas in his conntry. If he enjoys good health ; if he has the free use of all his bodily faculties; if' he sees and hears accurately and knows how to express qnickly what he hears and sees, then, if he wishes to be a journalist, take him in hand, undertake his education, give him thut general equipment fitted for the various forms of battle which such a career implies, and if you do not make a great journalist of him yon will, at all events, make one who can easily stand cornparison with any, even the most authoritative product of the utterly disorganized journalism of today. But you will do more thanthis. You will havecreateda type, one of a special class, now isolated and rare, but soon to increase and multiply - the type of the journalist - elect, etanding head and shoulders above the commou stream of contemporary journalists. In other professions those who issue from a special school, with a special training, are a model for those less favored by fortune. They precede and guide the latter, and, with the rarest exceptions, always rnaintain their lead. So it must be io journalism whenever in any conntry a'ational school of


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