DOES NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING PAY?
One of the catch-words" of the day is that "It pays to advertise."
Let's consider that. Take newspaper advertising it does pay
"the advertiser and it piys the newspaper. But does it pay humanity?
Originally the newspaper was a pamphlet, published to con
vey information to the people. In its early stages it was a friend of
the people, and its success depended upon ijt being true to the people.
Finally shrewd merchants found that a good way to increase
business was to tell the readers of a newspaper in its columns of the
bargains the had to offer. And1 so newspaper advertising grew.
But as it grew, competition among newspapers to make money
out of advertising grew. The desire to get more circulation was
governed by the desire to make more money; and the paper with the
largest circulation, as a rule, got the highest advertising rate.
In the competition for circulation, newspapers cut down the
price until most newspapers were sold for a cent. With large ad
vertising volume, there came a point at which the paper was actually
sold at a loss, so far as the cost of white paper was concerned. But
the advertising receipts made up for that loss and made a profit
Then advertising became the big consideration, and the control
of many newspapers passed from the editorial to the business office.
Editors were not permitted to print ne.ws that might offend adver
tisers and cut off-advertising revenue. The interests of the readers,
the public, were subordinated to those of the business men who were
paying large sums to the paper monthly for advertising.
And then the point was reached where advertising did not pay
the public, however much it paid the newspaper owner and, the ad
vertiser. Chicago is undoubtedly the worst city in the world in this re
gard, for here the newspaper publishers organized a trust of thein,
own; and no matter how much they pretend to fight one another,
thev stand together in defending the private and selfish interests of
Naturally the biggeet advertiser enjoyed the greatest privi
leges,. And it didn't take public service corporations long to find
out that the easiest and safest way to rob the public was to become
big newspaper advertisers.
And the newspapers with powerful influence learned to use it,
in other ways to further enrich their owners. The control of public
officials by the Tribune and News secured for them leases for nearly
' a hundred years on land in the heart of Chicago that belongs to the
r.chools, at a rental many thousands. si dollars annually less than
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