CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558
Three directors to discuss four decades of news gathering
STANFORD -- Three men who directed the office for more than four decades will recount their experiences in "The News Behind the News: The Story of the Stanford News Service, 1946- 1989."
They also will discuss how technology affected the way they did their work.
The program, sponsored by the Stanford Historical Society, will be held at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, in Oak West Lounge in Tresidder Memorial Union on campus.
Discussing the early origins of what was then called the Office of Public Information will be Frederic O. Glover, now secretary to the university emeritus. A 1933 graduate of Stanford, Glover was serving as editor of the Burlingame Advance when President Donald Tresidder tapped him to launch the office in 1946.
Glover will discuss how he pioneered medical coverage at a time when it was unpopular with doctors by spending at least one day a week at the Medical School, then located in San Francisco. Out of the Chemistry Department, he reported the discovery that a Stanford scientist had isolated the polio virus. In 1951, Glover moved to the president's office to serve as assistant to J.E. Wallace Sterling.
Peter C. Allen, who graduated from Stanford in 1936 and is now university editor emeritus, will relate the story of Stanford's emergence as a university of international stature.
Allen, who succeeded Glover in 1952 and renamed the office News and Publications Service, will relate how he once found himself caught off guard by the president of the United States. During a national radio address, Dwight Eisenhower announced the government's intention to fund construction of a two-mile linear accelerator at Stanford. Campus scientists had had no advance warning of the government's favorable decision.
Robert W. Beyers, recruited from the University of Michigan to run the news operation in 1961, will talk about the occasionally dangerous task of covering student demonstrations of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Beyers developed a wide reputation among local and national journalists for the university's candor and speed in reporting the tumultuous events.
Among other incidents, Beyers will discuss the Palo Alto police department's search of the Stanford Daily. He got involved when the police obtained a warrant to search the newspaper for photographic evidence following a 1971 riot at the Stanford Hospital. Beyers told police they would find nothing, and that turned out to be the case. The police persisted, however, and their action set off a legal case that ended in a 5-3 defeat for the newspaper at the U.S. Supreme Court. Beyers left Stanford in late 1989.
Serving as moderator of the panel will be Lyle M. Nelson, a former journalist who was Stanford's director of university relations - overseeing the News Service - from 1961 to 1971.
The News Service is the university's main liaison with the external media and publishes the weekly Campus Report for faculty and staff, and the semi-monthly Stanford Observer for alumni.
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