St. Joseph Weekly Gazette
Articles in database from St. Joseph Weekly Gazette: 1
The Paragraphist -- An appropriate toast last night at the banquet given to the Press Club was appropriately responded to by Mr. Burdette: "To the Paragraphist."
The paragraphist is the most unique evolution of modern journalism. The editor came naturally enough; the reporter was an early and obvious evolution; the correspondent was easily developed; the business manager, the telegraph editor, the market editor, the literary editor -- all these and all the family of kindred workers were plainly necessities in an early stage of journalism. But the highest product -- the best result -- the most peculiar growth of modern journalism is the paragraphist. He alone is necessarily abreast with the age. He alone is good or nothing. He alone must have genius of a certain sort.
He is to a paper what spice is to a pudding, what bells are to a sleigh-horse, what ribbons are to a woman. He is the flavor, the jingle, the variety of the paper. He is more -- he is what an epigram is to an argument. He sums it up. He condenses. He puts a pound of feathers into the space of a pound of lead. He is a double-levered, brass-riveted, iron-bound compressor, the press of the press. He makes every word count.
American life, which has no time to spare, produced him. He was an impossibility in England, where three-column editorials and three-volume novels were the fashion until the English followed the lead of the Americans. He asks impertinently what use there is of a long story, when he can shorten it; of a long argument, when he can condense it. He does not deal in words, but in ideas. He takes a sermon and compresses it into a text....Time is money; space is money; words are money, when they must be set in type.
The public owes him more than it owes all other kinds of newspaper men. He saves time. He saves breath. He saves money. He saves attention. He saves type and ink. He has made a new field of literature. He has damned long books, long arguments, long phrases. Words are used with their full meaning in his handling. He has killed dullness. He is to a reader's life what the telegraph is to commercial life. He shortens the labor of reading and makes a day longer. Yet he loses nothing. He deals in essences.
...A sentence from his pen is more widely read and has a more certain effect than sermon or long argument....Journalism is the highest product of modern civilization, the paragraphist the highest product of journalism.