Student Editors of Jewish Publications Set Sights for Developing Service

Fifty editors and staff members representing Jewish publications on 37 college campuses in the United States and Canada met here this weekend in the first conference sponsored by the Jewish Student Press Service. The three-day conference was called by JSPS leaders to deal with problems common to the publications. Workshops were held in covering Jewish news, layout and typography. The conference approved plans for the formation of a JSPS governing board to be composed of student editors, and of an advisory committee to be composed of professional Jewish journalists and interested Jewish communal leaders. Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine, told the conference. “The primary responsibility of the Jewish journalist was not to be an apologist for the Jewish people.” Podhoretz stated that the Jewish apologist “who often proclaims himself to be a friend of his people, is often the greatest enemy” of his people. He added that the greatest danger facing the Jewish community today is “the indiscriminate rhetoric and ideology” of what is widely known as the New Left.

Murray Zuckoff, Jewish Telegraphic Agency news editor, described the world wide service of this news agency and discussed the various ways in which news concerning the Jewish communities is gathered and disseminated. “Jewish news is not limited to what local community organizations do but should be seen as permeating all community activities,” he said. “The local school budget is as important to the Jews in that community as is the developments in the Middle East. At the same time, events in the Middle East influence the lives of the Jews in your local community. As editors, you have to know how to relate and interlink local and international affairs.” Too often, he pointed out, the student newspapers are more concerned with abstract theorizing than with the living news of the Jewish people. “What happens in your own community is frequently ignored but this is the basis for real reporting.” He invited students to contribute articles to the JTA on developments in the student community on-and off-campus.

Sidney Zion, editor of Scanlan’s Monthly magazine, attacked what he termed “fellow travellers of the Left” who became antagonistic to Israel after the Six-Day War. The fellow travelers, he added, “could not face the fact of Israel’s victory.” They also do not realize, he said, that the State was won through “real revolution in the streets.” The JSPS was launched last Nov. to coordinate and distribute news of the activities of independent on-and off-campus Jewish student groups and newspapers in the U.S. and Canada which, according to David Kaufman, co-editor of the JSPS, have a combined press run of 300,000 copies a month. Last Dec. JTA president Robert H. Arnow announced that JTA concluded an agreement with JSPS to provide the student publications affiliated with JSPS with news about the Jewish community. These publications cover the entire spectrum of political thinking within the Jewish community from Left to Right from Socialist-Zionist to Orthodox. Other speakers at the conference included McCandlish Philips of the New York Times, I.L. Kenen of the Near East Report, Joe Flaherty of the Village Voice, and Aviv Center Zuckoff, editor of the Jewish Liberation Journal.

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