All the News is Fit to Print: Profile of a Country Editor
By: Chad Stebbins (author)Hardback
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For nearly half a century, Arthur Aull captivated a rural Missouri town and a national audience with his sensationalistic, all-the-news-is-fit-to-print approach to journalism. As editor and publisher of the Lamar Democrat from 1900 to 1948, he disregarded most of the traditional rules of news coverage. Every scandal and piece of gossip he could turn up helped fill the pages of his newspaper, an afternoon daily in a town of about 2,300. His tales of grisly accidents, murders, rapes, juvenile crime, suicides, and sensational divorces reminded skeptics of the earlier yellow journalism era. Despite national acclaim, Aull remained an unpretentious small-town editor. He had his own code of ethics, which he refused to modify to reflect the changing times. He was sued for libel three times, assaulted with a club, threatened with other kinds of bodily harm, and cursed by many. Yet, he persisted in scouring the town of Lamar for any news that would help him sell a few more copies of the Democrat. Although the influence of country journalism on American society cannot be disputed, relatively little has been written on the vital role country journalists play. All the News Is Fit to Print, which traces Aull's transformation from a struggling schoolteacher to one of the best-known small-town newspapermen in America, will help remedy that oversight.
Chad Stebbins is Associate Professor of Journalism at Missouri Southern State College in Joplin.
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- ID: 9780826211637
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