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State Journal; in Scranton, from the to perish because they were inefficientRepublican; in St. Paul, from the Pion- ly managed or improperly edited. The eer Press; and in New Orleans from the Boston Transcript declares that the reaTimes-Picayune. This circumstance son for the Journals demise was lack comes as a good deal of a shock to those ‘of that singleness and clearness of diwho fancy that at least the chief politi- rection and purpose which alone estabcal parties should have their represen- lish confidence in and guarantee abidtative dailies in each city — for that is ing support of a newspaper.' If some of the old American tradition.
the Hearst newspapers may be cited as Turning to the State of Michigan, we examples of successful journals which find that the development has gone have neither clearness nor honesty of even further, for here are some sizable purpose, it is not to be questioned that cities with no morning newspaper and a newspaper with clear-cut, vigorous but one in the evening field. In four- personalities behind it is far more liketeen cities whose population has more ly to survive than one which does not than doubled during the last twenty- have them. five years the number of daily newspa- But it does not help the situation to pers printed in the English language has point out, as does the Columbia (S.C.) shrunk from 42 to only 23. In nine of State, that sentiment and passion' have these fourteen cities there is not a sin- been responsible for the launching of gle morning newspaper; they have but
many of the newspaper wrecks, for often an evening newspaper apiece to give sentiment and the righteous passion of them the news of the world, unless they indignation have been responsible for the are content to receive their news by foundation of notable newspapers such mail from distant cities. On Sunday as the New York Tribune, whose finanthey are better off, for there are seven cial success was, for a time at least, quite Sunday newspapers in these towns. notable. It is the danger that newspa
In the five cities having more than per conditions, because of the enormousone newspaper, there are six dailies that ly increased costs and this tendency are thought to be unprofitable to their to monopoly, may prevent people owners; and it is believed that within who are actuated by passion and sentia short time the number of one-news- ment from founding newspapers that paper cities will grow to twelve, in is causing many students of the situawhich case Detroit and Grand Rapids tion much concern. What is to be the will be the only cities with morning hope for the advocates of new-born and dailies. It is reported by competent unpopular reforms if they cannot have witnesses that the one-newspaper towns a press of their own, as the Abolitionare not only well content with this state ists and the founders of the Republican of affairs, but that they actively resist party set up theirs in a remarkably any attempt to change the situation, short time, usually with poverty-stricken the merchants in some cases banding bank accounts? together voluntarily to maintain the If no good American can read of citmonopoly by refusing advertising to ies having only one newspaper without those wishing to start competition. concern, -since democracy depends
It is of course true that in the larger largely upon the presenting of both cities of the East there are other causes sides of every issue, — it does not add
than the lack of advertising to account any comfort to know that it would take for the disappearance of certain news- millions to found a new paper, on a papers. Many of them have deserved strictly business basis, in our largest
cities. None but extremely wealthy men represented in the list, which is surely could undertake such a venture, not complete. precisely as the rejuvenated Chicago Many dailies have sought to save Herald has been financed by a group of themselves by increasing their price to the city's wealthiest magnates, - and
- two cents, as in Chicago, Pittsburg, even then the success of the undertak- Buffalo, and Philadelphia, and everying would be questionable if it were not where there has been a raising of mail possible to secure the Associated Press subscription and advertising rates in an service for the newcomer.
effort to offset the enormous and perThe journal of protest,' it may be sistent rise in the cost of paper and truthfully said, is to-day being con- labor. It is indisputable, however, that fined, outside of the Socialistic press, to if we are in for a long war, many of the weeklies of varying types, of which the weaker city dailies and the country daiSurvey, the Public, and the St. Louis lies must go to the wall, just as there Mirror are examples; and scores of have been similar failures in every one them fall by the wayside. The large of the warring nations of Europe. sums necessary to establish a journal Surveying the newspaper field as a of opinion are being demonstrated by whole, there has not been of late years the New Republic. Gone is the day a marked development of the tendency when a Liberator can be founded with to group together a number of newsa couple of hundred dollars as capital. papers under one ownership in the manThe struggle of the New York Call to ner of Northcliffe. Mr. Hearst, thanks keep alive, and that of some of our be to fortune, has not added lately to Jewish newspapers, are clear proof his string;' his group of Examiners and that conditions to-day make strongly Journals and Americans is popularly against those who are fired by passion believed not to be making any large and sentiment to give a new and radi- sums of money for him, because the cal message to the world.
weaker members offset the earnings of True, there is still opportunity in the prosperous ones, and there is reputsmall towns for editorial courage and ed to be great managerial waste. When ability; William Allen White has de- Mr. Munsey buys another daily he usumonstrated that. But in the small ually sells an unprosperous one or adds towns the increased costs due to the another grave to his private and size war are being felt as keenly as in the able newspaper cemetery. The Scrippslarger cities. Ayer's Newspaper Direc- McRae Syndicate, comprising some 22 tory shows a steady shrinkage during dailies, has not added to its number the last three years in the weeklies, since 1911. semi-weeklies, tri-weeklies, and semi- In Michigan the Booth Brothers conmonthlies, there being 300 less in 1916 trol six clean, independent papers, than in 1914. There lies before me a which, for the local reasons given above, list of 76 dailies and weeklies over which exercise a remarkable influence. The the funeral rites have been held since situation in that state shows clearly January 1, 1917; to some of them the how comparatively easy it would be for
; government has administered the coup rich business men, with selfish or parde grâce. There are three Montreal jour- tisan purpose, to dominate public opinnals among them, and a number of little
1 Unfortunately, as we go to press, this stateGerman publications, together with the
ment seems to be contradicted by the dire rumor notorious Appeal to Reason and a couple that Mr. Hearst has acquired the respected Bosof farm journals: twenty-one states are ton Daily Advertiser. – THE EDITORS.
ion there and poison the public mind appeared in no less than 7000 publicaagainst anything they disliked. It is tions of the Union's clients. Who can a situation to cause much uneasiness estimate the value of such an advertisewhen one looks into the more distant ment? Who can deny the power enorfuture and considers the distrust of the mously to influence rural public opinpress because of a far-reaching belief ion for better or for worse? Who can that the large city newspaper, being a deny that the very innocent aspect of several-million-dollar affair, must nec- such a publication makes it a particuessarily have managers in close alli- larly easy, as well as effective, way of ance with other men in great business conducting propaganda for better or enterprises, - the chamber of com- for worse? So far it has been to the admerce, the merchants' association
vantage of both the associations to cargroup, — and therefore wholly detach- ry the propaganda matter of the great ed from the aspirations of the plain political parties, — they deny any inpeople.
tentional propaganda of their own; Those who feel thus will be disturbed but one cannot help wondering whether by another remarkable consolidation in this will always be the case, and wheththe field of newspaper-making — the er there is not danger that some day recent absorption of a large portion of this tremendous power may be used in the business of the American Press As- the interest of some privileged undersociation by the Western Newspaper taking or some self-seeking politicians. Union. The latter now has an almost At least, it would seem as if our lawabsolute monopoly in supplying ‘plate' makers, already so critical of the press, and ready-to-print matter to the small- might be tempted to declare the Union er daily newspapers and the country a public-service corporation and, thereweeklies - ‘patent insides' is a more fore, bound to transmit all legitimate familiar term. The Western Newspa- news offered to it. per Union to-day furnishes plate mat- In the strictly news-gathering field ter to nearly fourteen thousand news- there is probably a decrease of competipapers - a stupendous number. In tion at hand. The Allied governments 1912 a United States court in Chica- abroad and our courts at home have go forbade this very consolidation as struck a hard blow at the Hearst one in restraint of trade; to-day it per- news-gathering concern, the Internamits it because the great rise in the cost tional News Service, which has been of plate matter, from four to seventeen excluded from England and her coloncents a pound, seems to necessitate the ies, Italy and France, and has recentextinction of the old competition and ly been convicted of news-stealing and the establishment of a monopoly. The falsification on the complaint of the court was convinced that this field of Associated Press. The case is now newspaper enterprise will no longer sup- pending on appeal in the Supreme port two tival concerns. An immense Court, where the decision of the lower power which could be used to influence courts may be reversed. If, as a republic opinion is thus placed in the sult of these proceedings, the associahands of the officers of a money-mak- tion eventually goes out of business, ing concern, for news matter is furnish- it will be to the public advantage, that ed as well as news photogravures. is, if honest, uncolored news is a desid
Only the other day I heard of a boast eratum. This will give to the Associthat a laudatory article praising a cer- ated Press --- the only press association tain astute Democratic politician had which is altogether coöperative and VOL. 121 - NO. 1
makes no profit by the sale of its news Estate is to have its day of overhauling - a monopoly in the morning field. If and of being muckraked. The perfectthis lack of organized competition - ly obvious hostility toward newspapers it is daily competing with the special of the present Congress, as illustrated correspondents of all the great news- by its attempt to impose a direct and papers -- has its drawbacks, it is cer- special tax upon them; its rigorous centainly reassuring that throughout this sorship in spite of the profession's prounprecedented war the Associated test of last spring; and the heavy addiPress has brought over an enormous tional postage taxes levied upon some volume of news with a minimum of just classes of newspapers and magazines,
. complaints as to the fidelity of that goes far to prove this. But even more news — save that it is, of course, rigid- convincing is the dissatisfaction with ly censored in every country, and par- the metropolitan press in every reform ticularly in passing through England. camp and among the plain people. It It has met vast problems with astound- has grown tremendously because the ing success.
masses are convinced, rightly or wrongBut, despite its many foreign corre- ly that the newspapers with heavy spondents, it is in considerable degree capital investments are a “capitalistic' dependent upon foreign news agencies, press and, therefore, opposed to their like Reuters', the Havas Agency in interests. France, the Wolf Agency in Germany, This feeling has grown all the more and others, including the official Rus- because so many hundreds of thousian agency. Where these are not frank- sands who were opposed to our going ly official agencies, they are under the to war, and are opposed to it now, still control of their governments and have feel that their views — as opposed to frequently been used by them to mis- those of the prosperous and intellectual lead others, and particularly foreign classes -- were not voiced in the press nations, or to conceal the truth from last winter. They know that their positheir own subjects. As Dean Walter tion to-day is being misrepresented as Williams, of the University of Mis- disloyal or pro-German by the bulk of souri's School of Journalism, has lately the newspapers. In this situation many pointed out, if there is one thing need- are turning to the Socialistic press as ed after this war it is the abolition of their one refuge. They, and multitudes these official and semi-official agencies who have gradually been losing faith in with their frequent stirring up of racial the reliability of our journalism, for one and international hatreds. A free press reason or another, can still be won back after the war is as badly needed as free- if we journalists will but slake our indom of the seas and freedom from con- tense thirst for reliable, trustworthy scienceless kaisers and autocrats. news, for opinions free from class bias
At home, when the war is over, there and not always set forth from the point is certain to be as relatively striking a of view of the well-to-do and the privislant toward social reorganization, re- leged. How to respond to this need is form, and economic revolution as has the greatest problem before the Ameritaken place in Russia and is taking can press. Meanwhile, on the business place in England as told by the Lon- side, we drift toward consolidation on don Times. When that day comes here, a resistless economic current, which the deep smouldering distrust of our foams past numberless rocks, and leads press will make itself felt. Our Fourth no man knows whither.
PROFESSOR'S PROGRESS. V
A NOVEL OF CONTEMPORANEOUS ADVENTURE
bethan town on the hill, and spent his I
hours until far into the night in the On the third day of his sojourn in streets of that other Fairview which in Fairview, at three o'clock in the after- another six months would be no more, noon, Latimer found himself. With the but which drew him poignantly to its cure, there came a sudden onset of malodorous, unsanitary self. homesickness which would immediate- It was precisely the difference bely have put him on board a train for the tween life and a blue-print that held city, in utter disregard of the state of him. He knew it was unjust to Forehis wardrobe and sister Harriet's feel- man and his collaborators that he ings, if Hartmann had not interposed a should be thinking of them as tinkering plea. The two others had departed the upon a new kind of machine; yet there day before for points south and west, was the feeling. Even Hartmann, for but the doctor still had several weari- all the humane sentiment that drove some truths to impress on a Board of his bulky frame to action, was engaged Health which was 'audomatically’im- upon a project, a problem, and therepervious to common sense. If Latimer fore a formula. The pity of it, that, as would wait over night, they could go soon as you have more than one man down to the city together in Foreman's to face, you are no longer dealing with car, which the magnate had left at souls, but with problems. Hartmann's disposal. The harrowing There were no problems in the unpicture of Hartmann on a lonely trip to kempt streets of the old town on the New York, depicted by that good man edge of the flats; that is, to the people almost with tears in his eyes, was more who lived amid the landscaped family than Latimer could bear. He would wash and gossiped from windows, or wait.
gave utterance to sententious truths And another reason was that Lati- from around slow-burning corn-cobs. mer felt the need of atonement. Of the They were to themselves an end in three days in Fairview, to Hartmann's themselves. They were neither classchagrin, Latimer had devoted just two conscious, nor church-conscious, nor hours to the new model town. Try as conscious of anything but the regular he would, his interest in the architect's beat of an ancient routine. The sense plans for the great Social Hall and the of depression which attacked Lorimer Foreman Hospital would not bubble. during that first walk with Filbert had After he had several times failed to vanished overnight. He felt no need to distinguish between the blue prints for idealize these people as the vanguard the drainage and those for the water- of a cleanlier and more prosperous genmains system, Hartmann sorrowfully eration. They were sufficient for the abandoned him. Thereupon Latimer day, without the apology of galvanic joyfully turned his back on the Eliza- cabbage-patch humor and sunshine