Curentul newspaper is one of the most interesting journalistic achievements of interwar Romania. A few years after its establishment, the newspaper competed with Stelian Popescu’s Universe, “the most influential and wealthy press tycoon in interwar Romania” (Ciachir, 2008, p. 23).
The journal founded by Pamfil Seicaru enjoyed a warm welcoming from readers even from its first issues and the success came as a result of the efforts made by the owner to hire experienced journalists and editors popular among the public. Besides, the articles written in a highly polemical tone met the demands required by the readers of those times.
The first famous journalists hired by Seicaru in order to ensure a wide circulation were Cezar Petrescu and Nichifor Crainic. It was not the first time when the three journalists were working together, their journalistic careers having met repeatedly. When they had the opportunity, Seicaru, Crainic and Petrescu made a good impression due to their talent showing brightness to the newspapers or magazines they were signing in. Among their achievements, we can include the brief, but fruitful collaboration at Neamul Romanesc
. The publication, edited in a new format, with the arrival of the three journalists in the editorial board, would be categorized as “a Western newspaper” even by Nicolae Iorga (Crainic, 1991, p. 188). The leaving of the “trio” from Neamul Romanesc , after an “unexplained moodiness” of the greatest journalist that “our race gave us – Nicolae Iorga” (Crainic, 1928) created the premises of one of the most influential journals from interwar Romanian –Cuvantul.
In a short while, with the financial support provided by Titus Enacovici, a former sponsor of
Neamul Romanesc , the new paper would be among the top selling publications in the country.
The disagreements between Nae Ionescu, who joined the editorial board in 1926, in order to replace Nichifor Crainic, chosen as Secretary General of Cults and Arts Ministry, and Seicaru, led to the departure of the latter one and thus, to the establishment of Curentul, with the help of the team that created Cuvantul . Nichifor Crainic speaks in his Memoirs
about Seicaru’s efforts to reunite the old editorial board: “When the appearance of
Curentul was ready, our mutual friends […] insisted that I should join the new paper, pleading for the reunion of the old group, who brought a new spirit in the Romanian press” (Crainic, 1991, p. 207).
Seicaru’s efforts were successful, and thus, Nichifor Crainic and Cezar Petrescu were members of Curentul editorial board even since the first issue. The editorial team was completed by: Al. Busuioceanu, C. Arsene, I. Biciolla, Dem. Theodorescu, T. Theodorescu-Braniste, who, after only two months of activity left Curentul editorial board to write at
Adevarul, Ion Dumitrescu, Dr. Ion Istrati, Dr. Nicolae Rosu, Ionescu-Vion, Sever Stoica, Victor Rodan. The economic chronicle was signed by Ricardo, which was the pseudonym of engineer Alex Froda.
At Curentul wrote also: Ion Vinea, Nicolae Carandino, Grigore Patricius, who signed Geer Patrick, and engineer Ion Scutaru. The Editorial Secretary position was occupied by Dem. Zaharescu, who would die in a plane crash, his place being taken by Lorin Popescu. Seicaru’s focus on the contributors’ selection is highlighted by Liviu Rebreanu in Gorila .
The novel’s main character, Toma Popescu-Pahontu, alias Pamfil Seicaru, demonstrates great skill when selects the editorial board of Romanianewspaper. Pahonţu hires many young people in the team, but takes care that “for all economic columns that all those which could be productive to employ experienced editors. He did not want any revolution, but an apparently revolutionary renewal or, as he said, a realist revolution. Instead of the upheavals destroying everything and then try to build a new world on a heap of ruins, he sought some successive partial collapses, in their place the new constructions could be readily built in the new style of the new world …” (Rebreanu, 2001, p. 402).
A.P. Sampson as well talks about the value of Seicaru’s editorial board, in The Memoirs of a Journalist . The memorialist believes that the page of Curentul political reportage “was one of the best”. This was explained by the good organization of the editorial work. For example, Samson shows the work done by reporter Paul Costin, a colleague of Editor Victor Rodan. Costin’s technique consists in an exchange of “confessions”: “On the halls of the Chamber or inside the ministries, he would come close to the politician and start whispering to his ear all sorts of political secrets, unfinished sentences, fragments of words uttered in a mysterious way and with no any meaning. Meanwhile, the character felt compelled to respond this trust with serious reliable information that Costin immediately transmitted to his subordinates. They would complete it, would write texts and all these would arrive on Victor Rodan’s table, who would rewrite them and connect each other to form a page impressive due to its real or at least apparent richness” (Samson, 1979, p. 104).
To enjoy the services of the best journalists, Seicaru paid a special attention to their salaries. Ion Vinea confessed that the founder of Curentul used the same principle inCuvantul
“All of them were given a very honorable salary so that the journalist could live with dignity from his work, daily work of daily renewal, the most difficult and exhausting of all works of thought, even when nature endowed you with intelligence and talent” (apud Vuia, 2007). In addition to significant amounts of money, Seicaru offered his collaborators something else: freedom of opinion. In 1979, Pamfil Seicaru, who was in exile in Dachau, said in a letter intended to Ovid Vuia, Romanian doctor settled in Germany, that at Curentul
each editor was free to write the way he wanted. The great journalist said: “In my editorial board I had all opinions, from the Secretary-General Lorin Popescu, legionnaire, former president of students, to Voitec, socialist follower of Titel Petrescu and, between these two extremes, cuzists, national-peasants, liberals […]