IJPC Director Joe Saltzman presented Herodotus As An Ancient Journalist: Reimagining Antiquity's Historians as Journalists at a scholar-to-scholar History Division Refereed Paper Post Session on Friday, August 6, 2010.
Herotodus as an Ancient Journalist: Reimagining Antiquity's Historians as Journalists' premise: The ancient historian is accused of not worrying much about what was true or false, making up quotes, frequently re- lying on legend rather than fact, often accept- ing idle rumor, malicious gossip, and hearsay as fact. Those accusations make the ancient historian sound more like a tabloid journalist than a historian. In this paper, we reimagine
Herodotus as the “father of journalism” rather than Cicero’s appellation, “the father of history,” as we examine how he reported, researched, and wrote his Histories.
The reason for the paper: Calling an ancient historian a journalist might be thought of simply as a question of labeling. For years, scholars have ignored journal- ists even when it was obvious that they were talking about journalists. Therefore, it is important to seriously consider labels. Calling Herodotus and other Greek and Roman chroniclers of their time Historian has created a discipline of history, a way of looking at the world and reporting what the world looked like at a precise moment in time. Labeling Herodotus as a Journalist may not change what he wrote, but it does change our perception of where journalism originated, how it was received, how the journalist himself was tolerated or ridiculed or criticized. By returning to antiquity. showing how people who were doing the same jobs as journalists today were perceived and accepted or not accepted, we can see how the images we now have of journalists in modern times had their roots in ancient times -- suffering the same misconceptions, the same charges of sensationalism and lying, of making up quotes, of distorting the truth, of always emphasizing bad news instead of good news.
Saltzman was also at the USC Annenberg table for the entire conference in the Exhibition hall talking about the new IJPC Online Database and the seven IJPC video compilations available to anyone who joins the IJPC Associates, and promoting the peer-review The IJPC Journal. The online IJPC Database is available at ijpc.org. There is also a major section on the image of the gay journalist in popular culture including a video compilation, an extensive bibliogra- phy, and various essays -- essential reading for anyone interested in writing about the image of the gay journalist in films, television, radio, fiction, commercials and all other aspects of popular culture.
I will also be meeting with my co-founding editors of The IJPC Journal to discuss the publication of our second issue in Fall, 2010 and other faculty about future IJPC projects.