Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 306

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 306

More often than not the editor hears “stories” that, if printed, would be a “scoop” which would cause his publication to be talked about from one end of the country to the other. The public does not give credit to the editor, particularly of the modern newspaper, for the high code of honor which constantly actuates him in his work. The prevailing notion is that an editor prints all that he knows, and much that he does not know. Outside of those in the inner government circles, no group of men, during the Great War, had more information of a confidential nature constantly given or brought to them, and more zealously guarded it, than the editors of the newspapers of America. Among no other set of professional men is the code of honor so high; and woe betide the journalist who, in the eyes of his fellow-workers, violates, even in the slightest degree, that code of editorial ethics. Public men know how true is this statement; the public at large, however, has not the first conception of it. If it had, it would have a much higher opinion of its periodicals and newspapers.

At this juncture, Rudyard Kipling unconsciously came into the very centre of the suffragists’ maelstrom of attack when he sent Bok his famous poem: “The Female of the Species.” The suffragists at once took the argument in the poem as personal to themselves, and now Kipling got the full benefit of their vitriolic abuse. Bok sent a handful of these criticisms to Kipling, who was very gleeful about them. “I owe you a good laugh over the clippings,” he wrote. “They were delightful. But what a quantity of spare time some people in this world have to burn!”

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