Gods within the Machine: A History of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 1923-1993

Gods within the Machine: A History of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 1923-1993

Gods within the Machine: A History of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 1923-1993

Gods within the Machine: A History of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 1923-1993

Synopsis

The first critical history of one of the leading professional organizations of newspaper editors in the United States written by and independent, outside source.

Excerpt

Universal press freedom is easier said than done. Out initial job is to cinch it in our own bailiwick before we go off on evangelical excursions and try to put Mother Hubbards on the heathen.

-- Wilbur Forrest, New York Herald-Tribune, 1943

The American Society of Newspaper Editors has, I believe, attained an international stature. We have also gained the prestige of being asked to assist in the writing of the provisions of an instrument which may have significance in the postwar world.

-- Wilbur Forrest, 1946

There is one fact which I am forced to admit and that is the failure of the World Tour of 1945 to sell freedom of the press. My opinion is that our tour only accomplished for foreign editors and some government officials an introduction to the American Society of Newspaper Editors and its zeal to promote press freedom. . . our report was merely a recitation of experiences which proved nothing except that freedom existed only by permission of a prevailing government.

-- Wilbur Forrest, 1972

From the closing months of World War II to the beginning of the Korean War, asne reached beyond its own important but parochial interests to promote freedom of the press on a global level. Initiated by Roy A. Roberts and John S. Knight and pursued by other globally minded presidents including Wilbur Forrest and Erwin Canham, the new international focus demonstrated the growing maturity of asne and its desire to extend its influence. the five years between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Korean War also may be viewed as a time of once again delaying important accountability issues raised by the Hutchins Commission during the same postwar period. asne used its influence to help highlight the concept of freedom of information at . . .

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