Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE)

 - Class of 1915

Page 220 of 284


Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1915 Edition, Page 220 of 284
Page 220 of 284

Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1915 Edition, Page 219
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Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1915 Edition, Page 221
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Page 220 text:

The newspaper plays a large part in shaping the morals of a community. For instance, what a powerful ally against the liquor evil. The paper that comes out boldly on the right side of this great isssuc is wielding a mighty power for good. For there is no question of its influence here; every stroke is hound to tell. It reaches the mass of the people, gets talked about, thought about; it is a foe at which its evil antagonist has no means of striking back. A newspaper that takes a high moral standard, will be supported. It may be weak, inefficient, but the community demands that it must possess a fair standard of morals. Ready to lend aid to charity and religious enterprises, eager to promote educational advancement, anything that points toward higher living and purer thinking—this must be the moral outlook of the paper. A spirit of neighborliness pervades the local page. We are all a large family, feeling a keen interest in what seems trivial enough to the outsider. We want to know when John Jones went to a rival town, when young Brown took his first ride in his new buggy. We want to know when it is time to do our fall plowing, and when it is time to put on our winter flannels. So-and-so is sick and we fly to visit him. A poor family has moved into the neighborhood. We hasten to their relief. A lecturer is coming to town. We depend upon the newspaper for a statement as to his ability. It is the newspaper that stimulates the movement for the Chautauqua and the lecture course, whatever of entertainment comes within our range; and it is the newspaper that is scathing in its criticism, if the expected treat does not fulfill its promises. Then the Society Column is such a delight. Those satisfying write-ups that mark us as people of social prominence, who know how to entertain in the most approved fashion. If our names appear within this column, then truly, we are within the pale. I recall a most humorous account, not the fault of the newspaper, I believe, but reflecting the attitude of the community towards a trying social situation. A young man had been most faithful in doing janitor work for the Sunday school, ringing the bell and building the fires, quite gratuitously, in the schoolhousc where the services were held. The people whom lie had thus benefited, sought to show their appreciation by holding a sort of reception for him. The plans were extensive; there was some decorating; a bounteous supper was arranged for; and as a crowning feature, they were going to present the young man with a chair. The write-up was duly appreciative. Each detail was dwelt upon, even to the presentation of the “small token of our gratitude, accompanied by the good wishes of the entire community;” and then, quite at the end of the description, and seemingly not having affected the program in the slightest, came the sentence, “The only feature to mar the evening’s pleasure was the guest of honor having failed to appear!” No comment seemed necessary. The newspaper simply pictured the situation exactly as it had occurred, and in fancy, I can hear the chuckle of the editor as lie wrote it. Exceedingly critical are we of the construction, grammar, or spelling of our newspaper. We expect it to be a model of correctness, to possess a certain Two hundred eight

Page 219 text:

Slu' Nrltiiipaprr as a Community Jfnrrr A Junior Theme. The newspaper a community force? Decidedly, from the time it is rushed from the press, smelly with printer’s ink, half the items left out because they were “received too late for publication—full particulars next week,” till it goes to its last resting place on the pantry shelves, the newspaper is a force. Regardless of literary excellence or rhetorical power; as a record of community interests; by virtue of the extensive field it needs must cover; it is bound to be a force. To touch every line of activity, to lead in every move for civic improvement, to be foremost in every advance for social uplift, to guide and encourage the intellectual life of the community, in every way possible to promote the public welfare—this is the province of the community newspaper. The newspaper is a force then, from the standpoint of business, to be supported; politically, to be feared; morally, to be upheld; socially, to be courted; intellectually, to inspire; historically, to be preserved. IIow eagerly do we-scan the advertisements upon opening our newspaper! Not only do we wish to learn of the latest bargains, but as reading material we note the phrasing, the ingenuity of the composition. The gossip of business rivals invite interest in the local page. We sight the amount of space appropriated by the new hardware store, thereby gauging its standing in the business world. The amount of business enterprise in the community is reflected in the newspaper, through the offices of which many an advertising scheme is originated. If business is dull, we seek out the editor and put it to him to devise some means for starting things. Advertising pays—it is up to the editor to make it pay. We leave all details to the editor. Business is dull, not because of the war in Europe, or failure of crops, or stringency in the money market, but because we lack a good, live editor, such as they have in our neighboring County, who concocts wonderful schemes of voting contests for the most popular young lady, a grand bargain dollar day, a grab sale, or the giving away of a piano. In the world of politics, we feel keenly the force of the newspaper. Here, assuredly, we do not know our own minds until we know what is the newspaper’s. Do we wish to run for political office? Better sound the editor first, there’s simply no use entering the race without the support of the paper. It takes a man of principle to run a newspaper during a campaign, to stand by his convictions, fair, impervious to temptation of personal advantage. If we can enlist the services of the editor, we have a powerful aid in our campaign for civic improvement. Do we need better roads? Get the newspaper interested. Do we need a new town hall? Whisper it to the editor. To be sure, he never ceases afterwards to remind us of it, alluding on all possible occasions, to the “edifice of which we feel justly proud, having been largely instrumental in its erection.” But the fact remains that the newspaper IS largely instrumental in every public enterprise, discovering the need of it, encouraging the possibility of securing it. devising ways and means towards attaining it. Two hundred seven

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literary style, as indeed it should. Into how many homes docs it enter as absolutely the only reading matter, excepting of course the Bible, and possibly a hymn book, catechism, and almanac. Particularly is this true among foreigners. Some of us who live in neighboring localities, and who have the ability, contribute the news of our districts, under suitable titles; as Balm of Gilead, Stoddard Lectures, and the like. When news is scarce, we lill in with bits of our own composition, sometimes in appropriate verse. Thus the paper offers a field for our literary aspirations. Through the editorial column there is a splendid opportunity for intellectual infiuencc. Writing upon whatever topics are at the moment of peculiar interest to the community, or calling attention to the happenings of the world at large, there is a wonderful chance for direction thought along right channels. Still one more division remains, one that endears itself to the hearts of the older subscribers who live largely in retrospect, and that is “The Twenty-five Years Ago” column. There is an immense amount of satisfaction in re-reading the events of a quarter century ago, to those who have watched the passage of time from the same viewpoint; and the old people by the fireside sit in reverie after its perusal, and chat happily of by-gone days. So—the newspaper a community force? It is a part of our lives. It announces our arrival into this world; watches our career through school, puts our names on the honor roll, follows us through College, eager to herald our first triumphs; anxious to extol the worth of our “fellow townsman" if we do aught of merit; proud of our successes; sorrowing in our griefs; marries us—in conventional black though it be, and faithfully cataloging the list of impossible, well-meant contributions as “beautiful and useful presents;” buries us, writing an obituary in our memory that forgets our mistakes and remembers only our virtues. Then let us consider the immensity of the newspaper’s undertaking, and be chary of our criticism, lend it our support; give something of the encouragement and help to its author that he has given to us—the community. LULU WERNER, ’15. liar In company with a group of Sisters of Mercy, two Red Cross nurses and a field surgeon, I started forward into the lines to give what assistance I might, and to see what war was like. Although we were delayed some eight hours in reaching the scene of our gruesome labors, the smoke of battle yet hung uncertainly above the doomed and wretched city much as a vulture hovers over its carrion feast—gloating and wondering if there is not more to be devoured. A steam of mist arose from the place, and, commingled with the heavy, sickly, copper-colored smoke, which we knew to be produced by human flesh consumed by the gluttinous demon fire, hung suspended like a pall over all. What on the yesterday was the abode of thousands was that day but a mean shelter for the maimed and broken bodies of those who had sacrificed their strength and lives to the great god War. These had been carried to the Two hundred nine

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