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TOLSTOY, Francis Gribble. Eastern and Western Review for February.
AMERICAN CARICATURE. Bellman for March 1.
LADY GREGORY. With portrait. Bellman for March 8.
Tennyson's Successor (Alfred Noyes). Nathan Haskell Doie. Bellman for March 15.
ALFRED NoYes. With portrait. Bellman for March 15.
Tue AUTHOR OF ALICE (“ Lewis Carroll "). With portrait. Randolph Edgar. Bellman for March 22.
THE POVERTY OF POETS. Richard Burton. Bellman for March 29.
JOAQUIN Miller. Outlook for March 1.
THE WORK OF A WAR CORRESPONDENT. Outlook for March 29.
NEWS AND NOTES.
Walter H. Page, editor of the World's Work, has accepted the ambassadorship to the Court of St. James, London.
“ Mary Antin” is the wife of A. W. Graban, a Columbia University professor.
The Houghton Mifflin Co. has published John Muir's autobiography, "My Boyhood and Youth," which covers the naturalist's childhood in Scotland and his early years and struggles for education in Western America.
The fourth and fifth volumes of John Bigelow's reminiscences are coming out this spring.
A third volume of Horace Traubel's “ With Walt Whitman in Camden” is coming from the press of Mitchell Kennerly.
Mitchell Kennerly announces a character study of Joseph Pulitzer by Alleyne Ireland.
Professor Max Eastman of Columbia Unisersity deals with “ Enjoyment of Poetry” in a book just issued by the Scribners.
Smith & Elder are to publish a new life of Jane Austen, based on the memoir by J. E. Austen-Leigh, the letters published by Lord Brabourne, and other family documents, some of them never before published. The book is written by two members of Jane Austen's family, W. Austen-Leigh and R. Austen-Leigh.
“Henrik Ibsen : Poet. Mystic, and Moralist," by Henry Rose, is announced by Fifield of London.
Mr. Escott's book “Anthony Trollope : His Work, Associates, and Originals,” will be awaited with interest.
The joint house of Routledge & Sons and Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. is to publish "A Tennyson Concordance" by Arthur E. Baker, covering Tennyson's poetical and dramatic works, and containing approximately 150,000 references or quotations.
Harry Snell, the Labor Socialist candidate for Huddersfield, has been selected to prepare the authorized life story of W. T. Stead.
Literary Influences in Colonial Newspapers is the title of a comprehensive survey made by Elizabeth Christine Cook and issued in the Columbia University Studies in English and Comparative Literature.
Winthrop Ames of Boston, formerly director of the New Theatre in New York, and now manager of the Little Theatre, New York, has announced a prize of $10,000 for the best play by an American author submitted before August 15. No limitations as to the type of play are imposed, except that it must be of a length to make a full evening's entertainment, and must not be a translation, adaptation, or musical comedy.
The Ladies' Home Journal offers $1,250 in five prizes for the best articles offered before July I on “Why I Wanted My Wife to Be My Wife.” No manuscript should exceed 3,000 words, and no manuscripts will be returned.
Two prizes of $100 each are offered by the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, one to be awarded for the best argument against woman suffrage, not more than 500 words in length, submitted by a city girl or woman, and the other for the best argument submitted by a country girl or woman. The arguments should be sent to the “ Essay Committee” of the national association, at 35 West Thirty-ninth street, New York city.
The London Bookman in its February number announces a twenty-one-guinea prize poem competition, and promises to print in a special supplement a large selection of the pieces sent in by competitors.
Manuscripts offered in competition for the $10,000 prize to be awarded at the convention of the National Federation of Music Clubs to be held in Los Angeles in 1915, for the best opera by an American composer, should be sent before June 1, 1914, to Mrs. Jason Walker, Memphis, Tennessee, who will transmit them anonymously to the judges.
The new editor of The Smart Set, Willard Huntington Wright, declares that a great number of manuscripts submitted to magazines are rejected because of the timid and puritanical policies of those magazines, and that he is after the best stories which are being written to-day, and is willing to publish them, no matter what their themes. "We want every efficient author in America to know," he says, "that if he has a story which he feels he must write, no matter what the theme may be, it will find an outlet, provided that story is a sincere and commendable piece of work ; and manuscripts will be read and passed upon promptly, payment being made weekly for all accepted material."
The Southern Woman's Magazine (Nashville) is a new monthly, published by a stock company, of which Robert L. Burch, editor of the Merchant and Manufacturer, and for years identified with publishing, is the head.
The publishers of Modern Priscilla have bought the Home Needlework Magazine from the Florence Publishing Company, Florence, Jass. Home Needlework will be continued as an individual publication.
The monthly magazine Every Where, founded in 1894 by Will Carleton, who was editor of the magazine until his death last December, has made an assignment. The liabilities will not exceed $3,000, and the nominal assets are about the same, mostly in copyrights.
Uncle Remus's Magazine has gone into the hands of a receiver.
Mary Roberts Rinehart says that her novels, short stories, and plays have brought her more than $200,000 in royalties in the last seven years.
The Metropolitan advertises that it paid Richard Flarding Davis $1,500 for his short story “The Miracle of Las Palmas,” published complete in the April number.
The Committee on Research Institute is collecting information about bibliographical material and indexes kept in manuscript by libraries and individuals. Any who have such material in their possession or know of the whereabouts of any are requested to communicate with the chairman of the committee, Aksel G. S. Josephson, care of the John Crerar Library, Chicago.
In the March Bookman (New York) Algernon Tassin has the first of a series of articles dealing with the problem of how to write and make a living.
The Book News Monthly for March is an A. S. M. Hutchinson number. It includes
appreciation " by Norma Bright Carson of Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, brother of Hilaire Belloc.
William W. Ellsworth has been elected president of the Century Company, to succeed the late Frank H. Scott. Ira H. Brainerd has been elected vice-president, and Douglas Z. Doty, liberary adviser to the company, secretary.
The estate of Frank H. Scott, late president of the Century Company, is valued at $36,015. of which $11,263 is life insurance. His library was appraised at $175. His holdings in the company, with which he had been connected for forty-two years, consisted oi twenty-nine shares of a value of $14.500.
Joaquin Miller lest no will. His real estate in the Sierras is valued at $75,000.
Jane Marsh Parker died at Los Angeles March 13, aged seventy-six.
William Hale White (“Mark Rutherford") died in England March 15, aged eighty-four.
Charles Wells Moulton died in Buffalo, N. Y., March 17, aged fifty-three.
Rev. Dr. Joseph Newton Hallock died at Flatbush, N, Y., March 24, aged seventynine.
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE TO INTEREST AND HELP ALL LITERARY WORKERS.
BOSTON, MAY, 1913.
ENTERED AT THE BOSTON POST-OFFICE AS SECOND-CLASS MAIL MATTER.
PAGE THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCURACY IN WRITING. J. S. Myers
68 Book.publishing and Its Present Tendencies, 68 - Fashions in Play-writing, 71 – Poetry Trade
71 WRITERS OF THE DAY
71 Margaret Lee Ashley, 71– George Vaux Bacon, 71 — Clarence Budington Kelland, 71
Mabel S. Merrill, 72 - Margaret Wid demer
72 PERSONAL Gossip ABOUT AUTHORS
72 Wilkie Collins, 72 - Henry Fielding, 73 Sir Gilbert Parker
73 CURRENT LITERARY Topics
77 Reading as Inspiration for Writing, 77 — Dramatic Action,
77 Воок REVIEWS
77 LITERARY ARTICLES IN PERIODICALS
78 News AND Notes
77 - The
however, that the editor seeks accuracy and uses all the precautions at his command to obtain it. When he fails he seeks the reason and tries to guard against similar mistakes. Editing a paper with an axe after it has been printed is a fact and a phrase known to all newspaper men.
It means goo ing through the paper carefully to find errors of English, of names, of facts, of typography, of judgment. Indeed the editor, the capable one, is constantly seeking out niistakes, not for the mere fun of the thing, but because he wants to prevent their repetition.
There is some weight to the argument that no more mistakes are made in newspaper publication than are made in other kinds of business, but the newspaper's errors are made for all men to read and know, and for that reason they appear so numerous. Do you know of any other work where there is the same opportunity for mistakes ? Suppose there are two hundred lines to a column and thirty letters to a line, and then realize that there is a chance for an error on every letter and you have an idea of the number of chances for mere typographical fault. Let the critic think of the number of different facts that may be presented in a column news story, and perhaps he will have a little mercy on the reporter if he slips up occasionally. However, I am not writing an apology.
In considering newspaper accuracy, I will not speak of honesty of purpose, or of adherence to ideals, for that is another story. Let us discuss the cause of the mistakes of reporting and how to avoid them.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCURACY
Somewhere I have read that for every four dollars a newspaper spends to obtain news, it spends six dollars to verify it. If this be true, it gives a striking proof of the fact that newspapers are not purposely inaccurate, that they do not publish their stories without putting forth an expensive effort to get the truth.
No one not familiar with the workings of a newspaper office can have any conception of the difficulties that stand in the way of absolute accuracy. The reader cannot be expected to make allowances; he only knows that he has found this or that inaccuracy, and if the mistake affects 'him, he damns the editor and reporter. It is an absolute fact,
The price of accuracy is like that of liberty, Eternal Vigilance. Look up your newspapers by placarding “ Accuracy, Terseness, Accuracy upon the walls of the editorial rooms and upon the desks of editors, reporters, and copy readers. In his article on the College of Journalism published in the North American Review for May, 1904, he said : “ One of the chief difficulties in journalism now is to keep the news instinct from running rampant over the restraints of accuracy and conscience.” con
As the reporter is the foundation of the newspaper, it is necessary to begin with him in the training for accuracy. From the moment of his initiation his fetish, his watchword should be accuracy. He should learn to be true to himselt, to hold fast to the ideals that every young man must have if he is to do anything worthy in any vocation or avocation.
Latin and you will find that accuracy etymologically means taking care, persistently, habitually, and everlastingly. There is no royal road to accuracy, there are no short cuts, there is no vicarious method.
A definition of accuracy is a good deal like a definition of virtue - it is easier to tell what it is not. Accuracy includes fairness in presentation, without coloring or exaggeration, clearness of expression. Accuracy cannot permit of a mingling of fact and fiction, a dressing up of a few facts with a large and showy ornamentation of imagination. The seeker for accuracy must love truth for truth's sake ; he must set down facts, not mere words, not fine writing to cover the nakedness of his iniormation.
Does all this sound academic ? Well, why not? These are days of schools of journalism, where the theory and science of the profession are taught as well as the practice. Theoretically, as well as practically, accuracy is admittedly of the first importance. Truth-telling is the sole reason for the existence of the newspaper, and too much cannot be urged against the tendency to allow sensationalism to run away with truthfulness. Accuracy should not be regarded as a will-o'-the-wisp, an ignis fatuus, even if it is true, as some one has said, that the newspaper is manufactured out of the subtlest, most volatile and elusive raw material in the world, Truth.
How far is it possible to train men to accuracy, to give them a desire for exactness, to impress them with the sacredness of their calling as high priests of truth?
Continual preaching will accomplish wonders, even if it does sometimes bore. There is a psychological side, too. In our editorial rooms - those of the Pittsburgh Post
which by the way are one large room, where all can see all and be seen by all, there is a large framed sign on one of the walls, with the talismanic word, ACCURACY. It hits every one between the eyes, and I firmly believe it is a palpable hit. We should have framed alongside oi it the word, TERSENESS, for it was that greatest of journalists, Joseph Pulitzer, who urged accuracy, and tried to keep the idea always before the minds of the writers for his
Let us review in a sketchy way what it means to take care :
Concentration. — Nearly everything a reporter writes is hearsay, or word of mouth evidence. Therefore he must fix his attention closely on what he is being told, and he must remember clearly, if he does n't take notes, and if he does take notes he must put them down carefully and transcribe them just as painstakingly. Misquotation is unforgivable. As few men are able to express themselves without ambiguity, the task of the reporter is made difficult, but the skillful reporter will insist and persist until he gets the truth. And when he has got it he will convey it to his reader in unmistakable language.
Conscientiousness. — To be thorough-going at all times, taking nothing for granted, as honest with his facts as a cash register with its money, is a qualification which cannot be too much impressed on the reporter.
l'igilance. — The reporter, like the sentinel, cannot sleep on the job. His eyes and ears must be ever on the alert, not only for the elusive item, but for errors in when he relaxes his vigilance ever little.
Verification. – To hear things is one thing, to prove them is another. Too often the best tips are untrue, the finest stories are those that cannot be printed. Hence run
ning down a tip to its source becomes of the first importance. The reporter must sider prejudice and motive, even to the extent of becoming distrustful and suspicious, and finally cynical. Too often he is blamed for inaccuracy when he has faithfully put down what he was told by some designing person. The
reporter must beware of grinding any one's axe, or, to change the figure, saving some one's chestnuts.
English. — Newspaper composition is not bad, in spite of the criticism that is hurled
William Dean Howells, the dean of American literature, says there is no gulf between the character of the best writing seen in newspapers and that of the writing in the best books. It is far better than most conversation and letter writing, and equal to much that appears in pretentious books and magazines. It is, as a rule, clear, properly capitalized and punctuated. It may fail in the finer distinctions of the meaning of words, it niay be flat or it may be too favory, but the average newspaper article is in the English of the day, brightened with a bit of slang or colloquialism, the
of the dish. Newspaper English, however, is not all that it should be, and every writer should be on the alert to improve his vocabulary. He should study the office style-book, and learn to avoid forbidden words and expressions, remembering ihat there is a good reason for every rule. He should bear in mind that accuracy incudes clearness always, and he cannot be clear unless he understands the use of words.
Authorities. — Every newspaper office is equipped with books of reference, which are to be consulted in season and out. Directories, dictionaries, geographies, gazetteers, encyclopedias, almanacs, year books, biographical works, all these are in the library for use, and no need be ashamed to look into them. Indeed every one should be asl:amed not to. Many an 2:oided by going to the library.
Experience. —- It is a dear teacher, but one of the best. The reporter who cannot learn to avoid pitfalls after he has had tumbles would better go back to the mines. Mistakes will always be made, but the news.
paper office has no place for the man who makes the same mistake twice.
Now for some of the causes and excuses for inaccuracy, with hint as to their avoidance:
Haste. — A newspaper is made in a hurry. The rapidity and urgency of the work are almost incredible even to the man who has been in the active work of newspaper making. Still, training, experience, and system have overcome many obstacles, so that in the properly organized office haste does not mean a wild scramble.
Telephone and Telegraph. Errors of transmission are not uncommon, but competent men will reduce them to a minimum. So much important local news is received by telephone that without this service the modern newspaper would be woefully handicapped. Proper names are especially liable to be wrongly transmitted, but the remedy is obvious: Take care.
Editing. — The copy reader's duty is to correct errors as he finds them, but occasionally he will spoil a correct statement. Then, too, the proofreader will get in his fine work, but let me say for that much maligned individual that he saves the paper from being made ridiculous more times than he is given credit for.
Typographical. -- In spite of the reporter, copy reader, and prooireader, mistakes appear that can be blamed on no one but the compositor, who sometimes in making corrections will make even a worse error than the one he is correcting.
The Human Element. — This suggests the old saying, “To err is human.” Some men cannot be taught accuracy, and when such a hopeless case is found there is only one thing to be done. Habitual error making in the newspaper office means the same thing as on the baseball field, release of the offender. The editor demands a high average of newsgetting and newswriting, and the man who can't attain it is to be pitied, but not carried on the payroll because he is a good fellow who means well. Bad luck may excuse sometimes, but when the attempt is made to make bad luck synonymous with carelessness, it is time to call a halt. PITTSBURGH, PENN.
J. S. Myers.