It is apparent that there are many areas of human interest and activity which media of public information and public opinion cannot or will not cover adequately, Among them are causes, movements, businesses, and institutions which deserve general approval and support. Given an expert to interpret them to the public, they can perform a genuine service to society, Without such a representative, they may fail, and their failure may retard indefinitely adoption of needed legislation, invention of useful machines, discovery of cures for disease, promotion of scientific research, and development of educational, social, philanthropic, and religious agencies, Consider for example, the need for medical research to find a cure for cancer, Such research costs money, This money must come from the public either through taxes or gifts, but it will not be provided unless the public i~ convinced that it should pay for this investigation. Nor is it likely that newspapers or other agencies of communication generally will stress the necessity for research without some aid from men who know more about cancer than the average newspaper reporter knows. It may be noted too that journalists usually believe that efforts to destroy human life have much greater news value than have efforts to preserve it.
Strangely enough, the man guilty. of simple assault, battery, kidnapping, rape. homicide, or murder often reaps not only a whirlwind but also front page banner headlines. At the same time individuals or institutions who=after the deed is done– try to salvage the criminal, to assist his victim. or to attack the causes of his antisocial behavior receive scant attention in the media, Efforts of social welfare organizations to do something about the ugly by-products of our industrialized cities cannot compete with the antics of actresses, athletes, debutantes, and politicians, many of whom have press agents, whose scrupulous regard for the truth so far has not been commemorated in a forest of monuments.
Since media do not publicize social welfare organizations Hull House, for example-these institutions must take the initiative to make ‘public information about their policies and functions. This is true also of such organizations 88 the community chest and others interested in preventing or correcting social maladjustment. Usually the public is unaware of current practice in social work, the findings of social research, and the new problems that a depression. Seldom can public understanding and support for social welfare activities be obtained without an effective publicity programme.