Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, November 22, 1886, Page 4, Image 7

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The November Usue of the AVw Princeton Arir' is un
usually full of matter both interesting ami valuable for refer
ence. "The Modern Noel" is discussed by Thomas Ser
goant Perry; "Realism" by President James McCosh, of
Princeton. "The Resurrection of Buried Languages" by
I'Yancis llrown shows the triumphs and achievements of mod
em archrcology. In an article on "Railroad Abuses at Home
and Abroad" Arthur T. Iladley, the political economist of
Yale, presents a conservative view of a much discussed prob
lem. He compares our own railway system with lhat of lor
cign countries, and it is noticeable that on the subject of gov
ernment ownership he takes a position directly opposed to
that of Prof. Ely of Johns Hopkins. Among other articles
arc "The Enlistment of Lafayette" and "Sham Legislation,"
the latter treating chiefly of methods in the N. Y. Legislature.
The publishers of the Century have embarked in a great
and commendable enterprise in presenting to the public a
new life of President Lincoln, the first installment of which
appears in the current number. The work is edited jointly
by John Hay and John G. Nicolay, both of whom were in
timately associated with Lincoln, and it is intended that this
biography shall be the most complete in detail and the most
authentic in information of any yet written on the same sub.
ject. It is of the utmost importance that the real fact-, re
garding the life of the "martyred president" should be secur
ed while those who possess them arc still living. Future gen
erations will demand an authentic history ol one who will
doubtless appear lo them as the statesmen of the Revolution
ary epoch do to us -as one of the central figures in a most
critical period of our history. The publication of such a
work is moreovei a matter of national pride lor Lincoln's ca
reer was a typical American one, and illustrates most clearly
the vast possibilities of American citizenship.
Some time since, an article appeared in the jVorti Ameri
can A'cvinv, with the somewhat peculiar title of "The News
paper Habit." Its .sentiments were immediately taken up
and confirmed by an editorial in the A'nfion und the two tak
en together will be of much value in solving a problem which
usually arises in the mind of every thoughtful student. He
is ambitious to be abreast of the times- to keep posted on
current events, but with a full course of study besides society
work and other duties not less important, the question is,
how much time if any, can be profitably devoted to periodical
literntuic of any sort.
The article mentioned above takes a very unfavorable view
of the average newspaper. Quoting the late Dr. Rush of
Philadelphia as dockuing that newspapers were "teachers
of disjointed thinking" it seeks to show that this judgment,
harsh as it may seem, is in the main correct. True to his
text, he declares that indiscriminate newspaper reading is an
injurious habit, and that like others of its kind it consumes
valuable time, unfits its devotees for more substantial work,
and that the strongest inducement which it offers is not self
improvement, but the gratification of an inordinate thirst for
scandal, because the average newspaper is only the lineal de
scendant of the town crier. Taking up the two classes of
journalistic literature, the editorial and the rcportorial, the
author seeks to show that the former is not a safe guide in
forming one's opinions upon the questions which it discusses.
Members of the ordinary editorial staff, he insists, do not
seek to reach the truth regard tug a certain object, but to per
suade their readers into a line of thinking in harmony with
he interests of the political party, or more probably tht fi
nancial syndicate, which they represent. This is well Hlus
, trated by the case of those cditois who, while professing one
, political faith, hiie themselves to the opposite patty to pre
sent its views. The same fault is found with the reporters,
vir: that they persistently distort and pervert the truth to
make it lit the views of their employeis, and their statements
are, therefore, not to he relied upon. The author attacks
most especially the popular conception that the newspaper is
"a histoiy of the world for one day." The reporter is above
all things, he declares, a writer of sensational literature; he
collects all that is abnormal in the life of mankind, crimes, dis
orders and monstrosities, and he presents anything but a
faithful picture of society.
It must be admitted that this wholesale indictment of
newspapers contains much that is true. Hut it will be well
to note in this connection the views of some who are more fa
vorable. Mr. George V. Childs gives as his opinion that
new spapcrs arc "purer, less sensational, more independent,
better informed, less blindly and unjustly partisan than ever
before." And although he is himself a journalist and
is perhaps on this account somewhat prejudiced, yet his ex
perience must certainly count for something.
Philip Gilbert Hammcrton discusses the subject of newspa
pers in one of the chapters of that admirable work, "Intel
lectual Life." He recognizes the many deficiencies of s
popular journals, notes the time that is wasted upon them, and
alludes especially to the immense importance which they at
tach to novelty, ignoring all else in their efforts to publish
something new and striking. Yet he does not advise an hab
itual disuse ol newspapers on the part of educated men. He
believes that without them the scholar would sever his con
nection with the outside world, and that though they contain
much that is objectionable, they nevertheless afford the best
if not the only means. As long as editorials are one-sided,
and the work of the reporter sensational and untrustworthy,
one need not take these as unerring guides in forming opin
ions, but may simply accept them for what they arc worth.
There arc other parts of a newspaper to be considered as well
as these. The foreiga dispatches, for example, consist of
matter which is not generally controversial, and which is,
therfore, less often subject to misrepresentation. The average
newspaper may have all the defects which the above named
article claims for it, and yet have some uses even to students.
'Tis said that llartlett University is flourshing.
A fine site of fifty acres has been purchased for Lincoln's, new
University. The location, is in the section south of the col
lege farm, between it and the line of the Missouri Pacific.
Good taste was certainly shown in the selection.
The facilities of Crcighton csllege for the study of astrono
my arc perhaps unequalled in the state, with a fine obscrvato.
ay, a powerful instrument and an able instructor in Kathcr
Lambert. Would that other departments were as strong.
Did you ever think over the fact that girls predominate in
graduating classes from high schools? Notice the proportion.
In the class of 1882 at Omaha, out of a class of nine there were
eight gifis; of 1883, in a class of seven, the rougher sex was
not represented; of 1884, two of a class of ten were boys; of
1885, seventeen out of twentyfive wore riblwns. Why, this?
Dcfthe boys, quitting high schools, go cast to college? No;
fully as many girls attend college or seminaries as there are
boys who drop out of the high school for that purpose. Husi-