Journalism students cause trouble

My “Portrayals of the Journalist” class eventually will watch the 1958 Clark Gable and Doris Day film “Teacher’s Pet,” in which a young journalism professor spars with a tough city editor who invades her class to expose what a waste of time journalism courses are. (He brags about learning on the job and not finishing high school himself.)

For another 1950s view of journalism education, here are two episodes of “Rogers of the Gazette,”  in the first of which small-town editor Will Rogers Jr. finds his newsroom invaded by a student intern with big-city ideas about the watchdog press.

530826_008_CJ_Griffith,_Journalism_Student — 17.1 MB

In both “Teacher’s Pet” and these two Rogers episodes, you’ll also find the common theme of the changing role of women in journalism. (In fact, “Teacher’s Pet” was co-written one of the authors of the Academy Award winning “Woman of the Year,” yet another variation on the theme.)

In this next episode, a speech by Rogers inspires enthusiastic twins from a high school journalism class, 531230_024_Investigative_Reporters — 6.9 MB

As usual, these MP3 files are from the Internet Archive, which has more:

Additional info about the series: Jerry Haendiges’ log of Rogers of the Gazette episodes and the Rogers of the Gazette collection

While not exactly Mayberry, the series makes me imagine Andy Griffith’s Sheriff Andy rewritten as a small-town editor. It’s a whole other journalistic “myth/reality” than the big-city newsroom Hollywood movies and New York radio gave us most of the time. Students should do some background research on real-life Kansas editor William Allen White, a national legend when these fictional tales — including “Teacher’s Pet” were written. He is a clear model for the Doris Day character’s editor-father.

I’m working on a longer essay about Rogers of the Gazette; it will be password-protected for student use until it’s finished.

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About Bob Stepno

mild-mannered reporter who found computers & the Web in grad school in the 1980s (Wesleyan) and '90s (UNC); taught journalism, media studies, Web production; retired to write, make music, photograph sunsets & walks in the woods.
This entry was posted in 1950s, comedy, editors, movies, teaching, women. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Journalism students cause trouble

  1. Jnpickens says:

    Maybe not the best film about journalism but it is fun! 🙂

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