Iowa State Daily histories
• 1901: I.S.C. Student editorial
• 1965: 75th anniversary section
The first issue of the Iowa State Daily for the 1965-66 school year included a section to celebrate its 75th anniversary. The 16-page section included more than just a history of the Iowa State Daily. It also reviewed some technical and broader aspects of student journalism and reflected on the newspaper’s position as a student media organization. Included here are all 10 stories that were in the anniversary section. (A PDF of the entire section is available at the bottom.)
What is the Daily?: Editor-in-chief Tom Murray introduces this special section and the always-present conflicting views of the Iowa State Daily from all people across the university.
Iowa State Daily Enters 76th Year: Former Daily managing editor Del Marks recaps a day in the life of the newspaper and its people. He explains the news gathering process, the newsroom operations, the afternoon and evening copy editing and proofing, the advertising process, and the rivalry between the newsroom and advertising staffs.
Iowa State Paper Originated in 1890: A brief history of the newspaper is presented, from its origins in the Aurora and Clipper to becoming a daily newspaper in the 1930s.
Daily Has the Largest Financial Operation: The Daily‘s opens its books and tells what the budget is, where that money is made, who is paid, and how much.
Advertising Changes Apparent During 75 Years: A look at how advertising in the Daily has changed in its 75 years.
ISU Press Serves Students, University: A brief history of the Iowa State University Press, which was started by the Daily and other student publications in 1924 to be their printer. In 1965, it was still co-owned by the Daily, though books were its big business.
Daily Is Printed Once More in Original Home: A history of where the Daily has been printed at through its history as well as what method has been used in its printing. This was well before computers, after all.
ISU Has Most Student Publications: Brief histories of the other major student publications at Iowa State — The Bomb, Ethos, the Iowa Engineer, Iowa Agriculturist, Iowa Homemaker, Iowa State Veterinarian, and Sketch — and their general structures.
The Pros and Con: Hamilton and Forsythe Debate Student Press: Richard Forsythe, head of poultry science, and Carl Hamilton, former journalism head and now director of University relations debate freedom and the student press — and how much freedom student journalists should have. Hamilton was a former Daily editor.
Change Daily Style From Edit to News: A brief history on the changes in the newspaper’s tone as it went from an editorial voice to the more straightforward news presentation. It also includes a little bit out other sections — sports, alumni, personals, wire — and how their focus has changed.
What is the Daily?
By Tom Murray, editor-in-chief
This section of our back-to-school issue covers the 75-year history of student newspapers at Iowa State. Also, the Daily is beginning operation this quarter from new offices in the almost-completed Press Building addition. So we’re taking this opportunity to tell readers something about the paper.
Articles and pictures in the pages that follow show something of the Daily’s history and operation. They perhaps do not give new students a true picture of the paper’s part in the University community, however. A few disconnected facts may convey a bit of the picture.
Daily reporters and staff members have been called “biased,” “stupid,” “degenerate,” “irresponsible,” and many unprintable things by readers and news sources.
One week last spring the Daily carried seven items correcting previous stories.
Four Daily writers won cash awards in national writing contests last year. The paper placed in the top ten overall in a national competition.
One Daily editor was labeled “an idiot with a pencil” by a University official. The same editor was praised in a resolution passed by the student Board of Publication.
Most of the organized groups on campus and many individuals have been angered by the Daily, sometimes with good reason.
The paper has been praised by presidents of the University and members of the State Board of Regents, among others, for some of its work.
If all this seems confusing, it should. The Daily confuses a lot of people. Sometimes it even confuses the staff. But our goal is to serve the University community and the students of Iowa State with news and opinions and we will continue to work toward it. We hope both freshmen and older members of the community will find this year’s Daily worthwhile.
Iowa State Daily Enters 76th Year
(Editor’s Note: Del Marks, a graduate last spring in science journalism at Iowa State, is a former Daily managing editor. He presents here an inside view of the Daily operation.)
By Del Marks
The Iowa State Daily begins its 76th vear of publication in bright new quarters this fall, moving for the first time in 25 years, and veteran Daily staffers are waiting expectantly to see what the effect of the new surroundings will be on the operation of Iowa State’s oldest student institution.
The wholly student-staffed editorial and advertising operations will be less than 50 feet from their old locations, housed in a modern $300.000 addition to the south side of the Press Building.
Built in 1940, the Press Building was originally designed to give student publications a home of their own. As the student body grew, the publications outgrew those original offices, and the new wing on the Press Building is almost wholly devoted to providing better facilities for the Daily, the Bomb, and college magazines.
For Modern Service
The new wing was designed, partially in consultation with student editors, to enable the Daily and other publications to provide the Iowa State campus with the most modern and efficient news coverage of any college newspaper. The task of the Daily staff this year is to see that that goal is reached.
Day in and day out operation of the Daily has always been far from routine because of the nature of the news it brings the student body.
In recent years editors have stayed up until 2 a.m. pounding out election results on typewriters for the next morning’s paper; they have become personally involved in student tragedies including fatal automobile accidents, drownings and shootings; and they have known the rewards of hard work to produce several special issues annually.
If, in its new typical-newspaper-office quarters, the Daily ever enjoys a typical day, it will begin as most Daily days do with the staff of reporters checking their assignments on the large bulletin board in the new newsroom.
The reporting staff, which averages 20 to 25 students a quarter, is composed of Technical Journalism 222 students. The course, advanced news writing, carries four credit hours and is required of all journalism majors. About two thirds of the course grade is based on the student’s work for the Daily.
The assignments, which the reporters are required to initial before noon, are posted by Diane Brockett, managing editor. Miss Brockett spends from one to two hours every evening after the Daily has been “put to bed” for the next day in making out the assignments.
On the typical day about one-third of her assignments will be for reporters to cover the upcoming events which she has learned about from the University calendar, publicity released, or a phone call from an interested outsider. Reporters also provide news tips from their “beats,” news areas for whose coverage they are individually responsible.
Another third of Miss Brockett’s assignments will be the repeats—addition stories on topics which reporters have started to develop in previous issues, follow-ups, and the reassignment of stories to three or four reporters who weren’t able to complete them the day before.
The remaining assignments are the managing editor’s chance for using the Daily most effectively as a tool for dissemination of information of importance and interest to its readers. They are drawn from the flood of publicity releases the Daily receives in the mail every day, from requests by campus student leaders and faculty, and from the editorial staff’s knowledge of current events at every level of college life.
During the morning as the reporters wander in and out, the Daily office is also the scene of the comings and goings of the advertising salesmen. Salesmen are either Technical Journalism 325 students (an advertising course that allows selling ads for the Daily as an alternative to writing a term paper), or other students attracted by the commissions they are paid.
Their business in the office on the morning of this typical day is to draw layouts and prepare advertising copy for space they have sold the previous day. Business Manager Roy Holland and Advertising Manager John Klopf help them in making ads that will appeal to the college audience.
In the latter part of the morning Klopf will take a list of all the ads that have been prepared for the next day’s issue and begin to plan how they will be fitted into the pages. This is done on layout sheets which represent each page to scale.
Throughout this typical day the Daily’s telephone will be ringing constantly. During business hours it is answered by the secretary to the business adviser who is kept busy relaying messages, taking want ads, and answering questions.
One of the first after-lunch rituals of the Daily staff is the turning on of the Associated Press teletype. In the new newsroom this service is housed in an air conditioned sound proof cubicle, but in past years it has stood in the open newsroom, lending a chattering atmosphere.
The managing editor and the editor, Tom Murray, usually try to arrange their class schedules to allow them to spend the maximum amount of the afternoon in the Daily office.
For Murray the afternoon is a retreat into his inner office with his two associate editors to plan Page 4, the editorial page, for the next day. They sift through the day’s correspondence, letters to the editor, magazines the Daily subscribes to, exchange papers from other colleges, looking for ideas and inspiration.
Edit Page Prepared
Some days determining what will go on the edit page is effortless, but on this typical day it is nearly 4 o’clock before the page is ready for the printers.
In the meantime, the Daily office has seen a steady flow of people. Advertising salesmen check in with Holland and Klopf to reserve space for ads in the paper for the day after next.
Visitors who want to talk about news coverage seek out Miss Brockett and others express the need to talk to Murray on specific items of Daily policy.
Toward the end of the afternoon Eric Abbott comes in to take over management of the copy desk. In a permanent position for the first time this fall, the copy editor is responsible for reading all copy submitted, for preparing page layouts, and for writing or assigning headlines.
Abbott is assisted in his task by a “must list” prepared by Miss Brockett of stories which the Daily is not to go to press without.
By 5 o’clock. with some urging from Abbott and Miss Brockett, every reporter but one has finished his story, or given an excuse for delaying it. The lone straggler will stay in the newsroom for another hour, checking with news sources.
Miss Brockett, Murray and the associate editors may pitch in on this typical day to help Abbott finish the desk work for the next day’s paper, in the meantime enjoying a dinner of pizza.
As page proofs begin coming from the back shop at 7 p.m.. Abbott is frequently headed downstairs to make changes in the type himself. Murray gets called also to shorten a letter on the editorial page that is too long for the space he has assigned it.
Finally, at anywhere from 8 to 10 o’clock the Daily staffers who remain in the newsroom gather around to read the front page proof. That job completed, a half hour of casual relaxation sets in as they wait for the first issues of the next day’s paper to come off the press.
The Day Ends
When the first issues are brought up they are checked for mistakes, one or two minor ones are discovered, and the staff decides they aren’t worth the cost of changing. Miss Brokett begins work on her beat sheet, Murray retreats to the editorial office to consider the next day, and Holland and Klopf plan their strategy for distributing the national ads they must use during the week so no paper will lose money.
The routine day ends with their routine conversation with the night watchman who checks the building just before midnight.
A typical day’s operation of the Daily does little to describe its true character, an ever-changing personality that is a combination of all the strengths and weaknesses of the many students’ personalities that make it up.
The Daily staff acknowledges itself to be a rather closely knit clique, effectively excluding outsiders from its inner personality while at the same time depending on them for its reason for being.
Leaders of the group are the editor-in-chief and the business manager chosen by the Daily Publications Board. The Board consists of students elected from each of the five colleges and two faculty members.
Ruled by Three
These two officials have full authority over the rest of the staff and with the managing editor’s control over news coverage and reporters, an effective triumvirate rule exists. Only half-jokingly are the editor and managing editor referred to as God and Vice-God and the business manager as Satan.
The rivalry between the editorial staff to bring the student body as much news as possible and the advertising staff to keep the Daily solvent by building up the ratio of ad space to news space is the cause of a never ending intra-office war.
Peace conferences generally work out compromises on a day-to-day basis, but the occasional need to blow off steam does not go long suppressed. Highlight of the war in recent years was the hanging of the advertising staff in effigy in the newsroom.
The only hard feelings to come out of that particular incident were voiced by the ad staff because faculty members had joined in the signing of the dummy. The signatures illustrate the good rapport the Daily has always maintained with the journalism faculty.
Good rapport is not synonymous with agreement however, and the Daily staff is proud of the complete independence it has been able to maintain, not only from the journalism department, but from the University administration as well.
Independence means responsibility and one of the strongest arguments against the Daily’s organization has been that youthful editors are not capable of the grave responsibility their positions thrust upon them.
The Lesser Evil
There is no doubt in any Daily staffer’s mind that he has made mistakes that have needlessly hurt bystanders, and perhaps he questions whether professional supervision might have avoided these mistakes. But at the same time there is no doubt that a student editor can do his fellow students far more good as a voice controlled by them than as one who abdicates his responsibility to a higher authority.
College press freedom is a right that is rapidly being infringed upon at many major universities, and the Daily takes pride that it has been able to resist this infringement through responsible action. One of the many mottos to decorate the newsroom is “There is only one dirty word in this office: C-E-N-S-O-R-S-H-I-P.”
Iowa State Paper Originated in 1890
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Iowa State Daily, oldest of the Iowa State student publications. The history of the Daily dates back to a rather unheralded origin in the spring of 1890 when a resourceful group led by F. E. Davidson issued a student news sheet known as the Clipper entirely on their own initiative and without support or sanction from college officials.
The Clipper proved to be the forebearer of the Iowa Agricultural College Student, which was launched with formal recognition on Aug. 7, 1890. Although other student publications had been published prior to the Daily, today they no longer exist.
During the early years of the college, six literary societies then in existence were highly influential in student life. Their most expansive achievement came to a peak in the Aurora in June, 1873, under a student board of directors headed by Millikan Stalker.
The Aurora, which was chiefly literary in its emphasis, published articles by faculty members as well as essays and orations presented in literary societies and intercollegiate contests, with only a small coverage of college news.
The serious and dignified Aurora served a useful purpose during its publication into 1891. It finally was suspended when the tastes of the ’90’s demanded more modern reporting with emphasis on athletics and other student activities.
The early issues of the Student, a direct descendent of the Aurora, reflected the gay spirit of the ’90’s.
During the ’90’s the Student was a weekly publication, tabloid size. Frequently during economic difficulties of those years it was forced to publish fortnightly. In 1896, the Iowa Agricultural College Student changed its name to the Iowa State Student.
With the return of prosperity at the turn of the century, the Student began publication on a twice a week basis in 1900. And as the college enrollment and the need for additional coverage grew, the Student changed from a tabloid to a full sized publication in August 1906. Three issues per week began on Sept. 11, 1914.
In March 1938 the school newspaper reverted to the tabloid size, began daily publication, and officially changed its name to the lowa State Daily Student.
On Sept. 22, 1947, the Iowa State Daily Student changed its name to the Iowa State Daily.
Since 1938 the Daily has appeared five mornings a week except during the summer months when it is a weekly.
Daily Has the Largest Financial Operation
The Iowa State Daily has the largest financial operation of any student organization on campus.
Total budgeted income for 1965-66 fiscal year is projected as about $92,000. Expenditures for the same period are expected to be $90,000, although both figures often vary widely from estimates. Last year total income for the Daily was $90,000 and income $88,000, leaving $2,000 profit. Profits each year are put back into the newspaper.
A special allocation of student activity funds, amounting to over $6,000, was also made last spring to the Daily and other publications moving to new offices. It has been used for new office furniture and equipment.
Advertising sold by students accounts for $44,700 or about 48 per cent of the estimated income for the coming year. Of the total income, 36.9 per cent is expected to come from local advertising.
National advertising will bring in $7,500 or 7.9 per cent and classified ads $1,400 or two per cent of the total expected income. Last year advertising was the source for 47.9 per cent of total revenue—local 37.7 per cent, national 8.1 per cent and classified 2.1 per cent.
Circulation income of $50,000 accounts for slightly over 51 per cent of the projected revenue. Of this, about $45,000 comes from student activity fees. The Daily receives $1.22 per quarter per student.
Faculty subscriptions total $400 or .4 per cent of the total revenue, and other subscriptions $1,400 or 1.4 per cent. Last year 51 per cent of total income was received from subscriptions — 49.4 per cent from students and 1.6 from others.
Interest from invested profits will account for the final .4 per cent of expected revenues.
Printing and engraving account for almost two-thirds of the total expenses. Printing will cost $61,000, in-plant engravings $1,500 and out-plant $130. Printing is done at the University Press Building on campus.
The newspaper’s other major expense is for salaries, almost $18,000. A business advisor and a full-time secretary receive a total of $6,350.
The editorial staff is allotted $4,500. The editor receives $800 a year, the managing editor $650.
The advertising staff receives a total of $1,500 in salaries, including $800 a year for the business manager and $500 for the ad manager.
Advertising salesmen receive $2,900 a year in commissions.
Advertising Changes Apparent During 75 Years
By Don Scmidt
As an advertising medium directed at the Iowa State student body and faculty, the University newspaper has undergone a broad transformation in the 75 years since its founding.
The first advertisements were a jumble of messages from different advertisers all dumped together on a page with a hope from the advertiser that his message would be read.
Today, advertisements are carefully planned and laid out to be more appealing to the reader and to catch his eye and hold his attention.
When the Iowa Agricultural College Student was first published in 1890 all ads were run together on one or two pages. These pages were for advertising only and seldom had any news copy on them.
The ads had no borders to keep them apart and therefore were rather confusing. A page of advertisements looked more like a poorly-laid-out modern grocery ad.
Offered Products, Services
Looking back on the first issues of the newspaper, it is interesting to note some of the products and services advertised. Livery stables, shoemakers, dentists and surgeons all got their two cents worth in.
“Have your teeth filled by Dr. C. K. Hunt. Rooms at residence opposite West House, Ames, la. — Plate works of all kinds.” This is just one example of many.
This was also the period that everyone wanted a drawing of a finger pointing to the main idea now or product in the ad. Almost half of the ads were this way.
After this period, in about 1905, advertisers apparently began to realize how difficult it was to read an ad in the college paper and borders began to appear.
Almost immediately there was not only one border around the ads but rather three or four borders or one very heavy fancy border.
It was at this time also that the college newspaper began to spread the ads throughout the paper as is done today. Illustrations began to appear and, as might be expected, they very soon were playing important role in newspaper advertising.
By about 1920 some national advertising started appearing in the Iowa State Student. One of the first ads was for Wrigley’s chewing gum. Wrigley’s said its Doublemint, Spearmint, and Juicy Fruit gums were an aid to good looks, sound teeth, eager appetite and digestion and, they stated, “Wrigley’s was five cents a package before the war, it was five cents a package during the war and it’s five cents a package now. The flavor lasts forever,” they said, “and so does the price.”
Ads for Arrow Collars
American Lead Pencil Co. advertised Venus as “the largest selling quality pencil in the world.” At the same time, Arrow was running an ad every week for its collars. These collars could be purchased at W. H. Jameson’s, in Campustown or uptown.
Among other national advertisers the tobacco companies were doing their share to keep the newspaper on its feet. Camel cigarettes were advertised as being “for men who think for themselves.” They said “Men smoke Camel for Camel’s smooth, refreshing mildness and their freedom from cigarette after taste.”
Suits for $19.75
In 1929 J. C. Penney Co. advertised dresses at $14.75 with the new ripples, flares, and drapes, which were said to be fashion’s way of changing the silhouette. In the same ad were advertised new single breasted, two button, peak lapel model suits with pleated vests from $19.75 to $29.75. “Lovely Mandalay Bloomers” with large roomy gussets were advertised for only 98 cents.
A typical 1940 issue of the newspaper most likely carried an ad for the “Saturday Evening – Post.” If you turned to the want ad page you would see such ads as Wanted: Student to board. Home cooked meals; 20 meals—$4.75. You might see Jameson’s advertisement for Arrow shirts for $2.00 or an ad for calfskin shoes for $2.98.
War Story Carried
With World War II the ads had a definite war story in them. Lindquist Cleaners and Tailors announced they were forced to operate on a cash and carry basis because their gas and tire ration couldn’t allow them to continue delivering goods. Many of the ads pictured soldiers with a product such as cigarettes.
By this time advertising was somewhat scientific and entailed considerable thought and research. For the Iowa State Daily this has meant many changes, both in the theory of advertising and in layout design. This last summer was the first year the Daily has ever been printed on an offset press. This means a much wider variety of layouts is possible.
ISU Press Serves Students, University
The Iowa State University Press began as the Collegiate Press, Inc., on Sept. 24, 1924, when the Student (the college newspaper at that time), and three other undergraduate publications—the Agriculturist, the Engineer, and the Homemaker, pooled $10,000 of their reserve funds for some new and used equipment.
In 1946 the Press changed its name to The Iowa State College Press. When the name of the University was changed in 1959, the Press became the Iowa State University Press.
Though the Press is located on campus and conforms to University regulations, it is an entirely independent and non-profit corporation. Its operations and facilities are self-sustaining and receive no state appropriations.
Five Own Press
Today, the corporation is owned by five of the undergraduate publications — the Iowa State Daily, the Bomb, the Iowa Engineer, Iowa Agriculturist, and the Iowa Homemaker. Its business activities are conducted by an 11-member board consisting of the student business managers of each of the publications, five of their faculty advisers, and the head of the Department of Technical Journalism as chairman. Each publication has its own board of directors and conducts its own operations.
The Press is one of the service units of the University. Its first purpose is the printing of undergraduate publications. The first University newspaper to be printed on campus, the Student, was printed in Curtiss Hall basement by the Collegiate Press in 1924.
Students Have Priority
Although student publications account for only 20 per cent of the volume of business—the remaining 80 per cent of the total is through book publishing—the undergraduate publications have priority in publication.
Book publishing was started in 1934 as a means of providing employment for the mechanical staff during the summer. Its volume has made possible better facilities and greater efficiency, to the advantage of the member publications.
It was through the efforts of Blair Converse, as chairman of the Press Board. that book publishing got a sound beginning. He recognized the service that could be rendered by “sharing knowledge in print,” and set up the framework for the operation.
Under his direction, Warren Hutton served as first book editor, 1934-36. He was followed by Hazel Beck, the late wife of the dean of agriculture, Floyd Andre, 1936-38, and then Harold E. Ingle. As sales volume grew, the responsibilities of the editor were expanded to those of manager of a book “department.”
The close relationship and independent responsibilities enjoyed by the staffs of undergraduate publications at Iowa State with their printing plant is possibly unique in educational institutions. Students studying in the field of Journalism observe and frequently participate in each step of production of their creations.
Under its charter of operation, the Press publishes “books of merit in the subject matter fields stressed at Iowa State College, and some books of a regional nature about lowa and the Midwest.” It is organized for editorial, production, and sales work just as are most major publishing houses in the world.
After World War II the Press participated in publishing and distributing in Latin America and in Europe two catalogs of American scientific books. The Library of Congress cooperated in this project.
At present the Press has 170 titles in print and is distributing approximately 125,000 copies a year. Some of the authoritative books may be used in hundreds of schools. The Press currently is selling books in 80 foreign countries as well as the entire United States, while demands upon the Press output from student publications and books continue to expand.
Daily Is Printed Once More in Original Home
After 74 years of publication in Ames, the Iowa State Daily returned to Nevada July 15 to be printed on a modern offset press.
The college newspaper at Iowa State was started on Aug. 7, 1890. The first edition carried the name of the Iowa Agricultural College Student (IAC Student) and was printed by the Intelligence Job Printing at Ames.
In 1891 the IAC Student changed location of its publication to the Representative Printing Office in Nevada.
In 1894 the IAC Student returned to the Intelligence Job Printing at Ames.
From the Intelligence Job Printing office the Daily changed its name to the Iowa State College Student (ISC Student) and began publication at the Hobson Bros. office in Ames until December of 1900.
Collegiate Press Formed
In 1901 the Ames Times took over the printing assignment of the ISC Student, followed by the Ames Tribune until the Collegiate Press set up printing in the basement of Curtiss Hall in 1924.
In 1940 construction began on the present Press Building and some time later the Iowa State Daily began publication there.
From the beginning, the Daily has been printed on a flat-bed letterpress. In this method of printing, type is cast in lead and put into metal forms with appropriate headlines and engravings of pictures. The forms are then put on the press, where a system of rollers applies ink to the type.
The paper, which is fed to the press from a roll, moves above the forms until it reaches the proper position and then is pressed against the inked type by another roller. The paper, flowing continuously from roll, is then cut and folded to the correct size and shape.
The offset method now used at Nevada employs photographic methods to produce a “picture” of each newspaper page on an aluminum plate. The plates are shaped around cylinders on the press, and ink, which will stick only where there are impressions of words or pictures, is applied. The plates then transfer impressions to a rubber roller, which prints onto the paper.
Offset offers the advantages of sharp, clear picture reproduction and a printing speed much greater than possible with letterpress. The cost, however, is usually somewhat higher. The printing of several issues of the summer Daily on the offset press at Nevada was largely an experiment to determine if that method would be feasible for the Daily.
At the present time construction is continuing to improve and enlarge the facilities of the Press Building. A new addition to the building, which includes new offices for the Daily, will be finished this fall.
As one enters the south entrance of the building a flight of stairs leads to the main floor. To the right of the stairway is the business advisor’s office. Directly to the left of the stairway is the new and enlarged newsroom.
ISU Has Most Student Publications
Iowa State has more student managed publications than any other college or university in the United States. Experience gained from working on these is widely recognized as valuable because it includes layout, writing and advertising work as well as the actual governing of the publications.
The Iowa State Daily and the Bomb are governed by publication boards consisting of five student members chosen in all-University elections and two faculty members chosen by the University president. Some magazine governing boards are chosen in a similar manner and the rest by application and interview.
Function of these boards is to discuss business and editorial matters but not to censor the content of the publications. Faculty participation is limited in order to give students the experience of learning to manage as well as operate the magazine. Editors and business managers are picked by the boards by the process of interview and application.
The five magazines represent the colleges with a special emphasis on articles of interest to the students in that college. Ethos, the science and humanities publication, recently accompanied a change in name with a change in emphasis. Formerly called the Scientist, the magazine carried little on the humanities or literary and artistic part of the college. Ethos (Greek for “spirit of the scholar”) includes both topics.
Engineer is Oldest
The largest and the oldest of the campus magazines is the Engineer. Since its beginnings in 1901 it has won many engineering journalism awards.
The Agriculturist, founded a year after the Engineer, is one of eleven publications of its kind in the country. Its predecessor was the Students’ Farm Journal, published in 1884.
Recipes, grooming, problems of the college girl, a tour around the University president’s home, sports cars … any of these may be found as features in the Iowa State Homemaker. Although the Homemaker is not the oldest lowa State magazine, it is the oldest publication of its kind in the United States. It was established in 1921.
The Iowa State Veterinarian is published by the Iowa State student chapter of the American Veterinary Association and carries technical articles of importance in the field of veterinary medicine.
One all-University magazine, Sketch, makes an appeal to all of these colleges. It includes poetry, short stories and sketches and is managed by the Sketch board under the direction of the English Department.
The Bomb yearbook, containing 500 pages, has become a year-round job for the editor-in-chief, photographer and other division editors. The Bomb also offers many opportunities for freshmen copywriters.
The Pros and Cons: Hamilton and Forsythe Debate Student Press
(The following articles on freedom and the student press appeared in the July-August issue of News of Iowa State. They were written by Dr. Richard Forsythe, head of poultry science, and Carl Hamilton, former journalism head and now director of University relations.)
By Richard Forsythe
The real and valid role of a newspaper or magazine is the satisfaction of its readers’ expectations, including a balance of local and outside news, expressions of the editors’ views and policies, educational features, entertainment, and such public services as advertising, notices, and legal announcements.
Its satisfaction of these expectations should result in an overview of the community it serves—an overview which, by the way, may look quite different to the regular reader than to a stranger reading only a particular issue.
If readers are dissatisfied with a commercial publication’s overview of the community, they may transfer their patronage to other media. But most student publications have captive audiences.
At Iowa State, for example, each student pays $1.22 a quarter, without choice, as a subscription to the Iowa State Daily, and a somewhat smaller amount for the magazine of his college. Further, these student publications are the only media through which advertisers can reach our large student-consumer body effectively.
This monopoly—on most University community news, on editorial comment and community policy-making discussions, on advertising and certain other areas of service, education and entertainment—makes student publications quite different from commercial publications.
It might be interesting to see how editorial policy and news coverage would change if our student publications were competitive. However, we must take our situation as it is, and probably should be, and determine what special responsibilities result.
Because their student readers have no choice, except not to read at all, student publications must be more sensitive to the desires, actions, thoughts, and even the philosophies of the University community. It will serve as good training for student publication staff members to develop this sensitivity, for their future service and living as mature journalists and citizens.
As the commercial publication strives to create a favorable image of the community it serves, even more must the student publication recognize its responsibility to create a favorable image of the University community, locally, to alumni, and to all others whose interests are at one with those of the University.
These additional responsibilities would seem to reqùire somewhat more guidance than apparently considered desirable by the Daily editor who asserted that “while we realize our limitations, we guard the right to use our judgment on news and to express our own opinions in editorials.”
Rather these additional responsibilities would seem to require expert guidance from experienced professional journalists, even more than laboratories in other disciplines require instruction of increasingly high calibre as more advanced stages of education are reached. Surely the academic nature of the experience on student publications must be similar to laboratory experience in other disciplines.
This being so, student editors cannot expect to have complete editorial independence, ignoring if and when they choose, their publication’s obligations to the student body and the University which their acceptance of a subsidy imposes upon them.
Student publications do have a unique opportunity to improve student-faculty, student-alumni and student-student relations, in a vital and challenging manner. But then do so only if they acknowledge the added responsibilities implicit in a monopolistic system where readers’ “freedom of choice” is not an effective force.
By Carl Hamilton
At one time or another in any given year almost every college administration would cheerfully abolish the student newspaper.
None does. And if it were attempted, chances are about 50-50 as to which would survive, the administration or the newspaper.
Why has academic bureaucracy, which has dealt successfully with so many difficult problems, found itself almost perpetually in controversy over the role of the student newspaper in campus affairs?
There are many reasons—failure of the newspaper to print news someone thought important, publication of news someone felt should not be published, disagreement over the way stories are written or played, opposition to views expressed by student editors.
Theory into Practice
But the chief reason is simply that student editors, hopefully inculated with some basic philosophies concerning the crucial importance of free speech and expression in a democracy, put these philosophies into practice in the columns of what they consider a real newspaper.
Administrator, faculty and alumni, on the other hand, tend to evaluate the student newspaper from a different viewpoint. Many of them, while professing firm support of the same principles as the student editors, nonetheless seem to favor what would be little more than an institutional public relations tool.
A Little Guidance
This they will hotly deny, and their denial will run something like this: “We think students should have their newspaper; we just think they should have a little guidance.”
As the man said in Hamlet, “Ah, there’s the rub.” What is a little guidance?”
Actually, on virtually every campus the student newspaper does get “a little guidance.” Student editors, most of them quite responsible people, seek out trusted faculty members almost daily. Sometimes the advice is followed, sometimes not.
And so it must be, if the student newspaper is to rise above the level of institutional house organ.
But let us assume the counsel is followed. Even then, different members of the administration, faculty or alumni may be wholly dissatisfied.
One will be offended by a comment on athletics, another will find the political views of the paper unacceptable, and still others will be dismayed by the paper’s stand on desegregation… women’s hours … student demonstrations … panty raids … drinking … or anything else considered contrary to “Conventional wisdom.”
The unhappy fact is that whenever a problem is stated in print, someone will take exception and assert the newspaper should have “a little guidance”—in a direction more nearly inline with his own thinking.
Every university teacher wants his students to measure up as nearly as possible to professional standards. Training for that responsibility involves encouraging students to think for and express themselves on any subject that interests them. That is the chief function of a university.
Students will not learn much if their thought and expression are restricted to the viewpoints held in common by all the diverse segments of the university community.
Those who would have it thus saying, essentially, “Now, while you are here on campus, think only nice thoughts, question nothing. When you graduate and mature you can investigate and inquire and look under rocks to your heart’s content. In fact we want you to do that—but not while you’re here as students.”
Surely few thinking persons believe living in an atmosphere of freedom can be comfortable and without danger. But the alternatives to freedom are infinitely worse.
As Justice Hugo Black asserted. “… there is no progress possible anywhere where the differences of people are stifled … and where they all speak as one voice …”
Change Daily Style From Edit to News
As world news events have changed during the past 75 years, so has the reporting of them in the student newspaper at Iowa State. And, with the changing of the names and formats of the college paper, changes have come about in the style of writing. For the first 20 years, writing was done in an editorial fashion. The following news story taken from the Iowa Agricultural Student of March 27, 1891, illustrates this:
We are glad that of late the attention of the students has been drawn toward athletics and that a lively interest has been shown. We hope that this interest will not be allowed to lag but on the contrary that it will increase. Physical training should go hand in hand with mental training and this fact is being brought more and more before both students and faculty of our colleges. A strong mind with a weak physical constitution will always labor under disadvantages, but it is the man with a strong body as well as mind that can accomplish the most. We should take time for athletics. Our studies should not be allowed to interfere with our health.
The writing for this period consisted entirely of local campus news and schedules for local events.
The most predominate type of news of those days was that one person visited in the home of another, just like the correspondent locals of today’s weekly newspapers.
Aimed at Alumni
By the end of the first ten years of publication three other types of columns came into being. They were the Alumni column, College World and the Society column.
The Alumni column was written to inform graduates of what their former classmates were doing and where they were.
The College World column was the first news published of events outside the campus. This column gave the readers inside information on what the colleges of the nation were doing in many different fields.
The Society column was started to provide news of the activities of social organizations on campus. It was different than the people-visiting-each-other local column.
Around the turn of the century athletics came more and more into the news. During one era there was a full front page of sports news. One article was on a Field Day on the Iowa State campus. Some of the unusual events that took place were throwing of a 16-pound hammer, mile walk, two mile bicycle race, boxing, and hitch and kick.
One of the main events of the track meets in past years was an all-around contest. The contestants participated in five events which were the running broad jump, 100-yard dash, throwing a 16-pound hammer, running high jump and the half mile run. The contestant with the most points out of the five events was the all-around athlete.
Also during this period some world news, such as the assassination of President McKinley, was being published. Feature news writing also came into being.
One of the first features was entitled “Soldier’s Life in Philippines.”
The next decade saw the use of pictures and cartoons to illustrate the news stories.
Recent improvements in Daily news coverage have included the Associated Press wire service which helps in gathering news of local, state, and national importance.