Last Updated on Sunday, 11 March 2012 16:54
Last Updated on Sunday, 11 March 2012 16:48
By WILBUR WOOD - For The Outpost
I’m late for class, jogging, short-cutting across a mowed lawn in front of the School of Journalism. A window squeaks open and the unmistakable voice of the Dean, Nathan Blumberg, roars out a second story window: “BARBARIAN!”
Astonished, I plop down on the ground, speechless, chagrined, then leap up and disappear into class. It is the early 1960s. The dean is, at that time, a man who believes that people should walk on the sidewalks, not upon the carefully tended lawns, at the University of Montana. He sees a reason for rules, even as he openly questions many of them.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 March 2012 22:13
EDITOR’S NOTE: Nathaniel Blumberg, former dean of the University of Montana School of Journalism, died Feb. 14 at age 89. This recollection was written by James Oset, retired copy desk chief for The Billlings Gazette.
Story and photo - By JAMES OSET - For The Outpost
No one could ever walk away with a feeling of indifference after a conversation with Nathaniel Blumberg. Knowledgeable and sagacious, Nathaniel always made a deep impression on those who met him and those who knew him.
A masterful teacher of journalism, he deeply delved into history, current events and political issues. He was, in my mind, a scholar’s scholar, insisting on accuracy in speech, writing and thought. Forever curious about everything, Nathaniel also possessed an almost childlike sense of wonder.
He developed deep and lasting bonds with most of his students. If you were a friend when you were in school, you remained a friend for life.
Nathaniel was a tough teacher, always insisting on academic excellence. He approached his work much like an Army drill sergeant training new recruits. He would give you holy hell for a dumb mistake but then offer a big pat on the back and great praise when you corrected yourself.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 09:27
EDITOR’S NOTE: In 1991, Nathaniel Blumberg launched the Treasure State Review of Journalism and Justice, an occasional critique of journalism here and elsewhere that appeared until 1999. This excerpt from the first issue explains why.
Back in 1958, a little more than a year after I arrived as dean of the University of Montana School of Journalism, I founded the first journalism review in the United States – the Montana Journalism Review. It seemed to me at the time that the American press, watchdog of the government under our Constitution, needed a watchdog itself. Three years later the Columbia Journalism Review was established, to be followed by others. Hardly any survive.
Now, in the first year of the last decade of the 20th century, it is clear that the news media in Montana and the United States more than ever require some concentrated surveillance. The time has come for another attempt to establish a review, and this time it is a review not only of journalism but of what under our system of government is the ultimate goal of journalism: Justice.
The citizens of our state and our nation deserve something better than what we have received from many publishers and editors, reporters and correspondents, columnists and commentators, politicians and bureaucrats, lawyers and judges.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 09:26