THE PEOPLE CAN MAKE THE NEWSPAPERS
BEHAVE IF THEY GO AT IT THE RIpHT WAY
By N. D. Cochran, Editor of The Day book.
YOU may think that readers have no influence on newspaper
editors and publishers, but J. know better; and I've been in the
newspaper business for 30 years. f
,1 know that already readers of The Day Book have influenced I
the policy -of this paper by writing letters criticizing some of the'
ihoughtless. things we have said, some of the comment that was
And that's the kind of a newspaper I want The Day Book'to
lie, one that is very sensitive to every criticism of itsreaders. I
really want it to be the .kind of a paper the people of Chicago want
It to be. And by the people I mean the 95 per cent who do Chicago's
work but don't own or control its wealth.
Other editors and .publishers are just as human as I am, when '
you get under their human hide. They are sensitive to the opinions .
or their readers.
But they are also human enough to imagine that the people
want what they want them to want, so long as the .people don't tell
what they wapt. Andof course, being that human, they are human
enoughto make mistakes.
I'm going to ,let you. in on a secret that newspaper publishers
generally keep to themselves ; and it concerns the power the people
have over a newspapers.
You elect an alderman, a mayor or other supposed public ser-
vant for a term of years. If he fails to represent you you have to
stand for it until the next election, because the influences that con- '
trol legislation won't give you the right to recall public servants.
But you have the- right ot instantaneous recall on any news- ..
paper you buy, unless you have let yourself be bribed into a con
tract whereby for a parlor lamp, a pair .of lace curtains, a rocking
chair, an electric iron, a cuspidor or something else, you agree to
take' "the paper for a year or more whether you want' it or riot.
You can stop taking a paper any day yo'u want to, if you haven't
sewed yourself up with a contract. . And if all of the readers of a
faithless newspaper who find themselves misrepresented by it
should stop taking it, that paper would be in a .mighty bad way,..for
without circulation there is no value to its advertising space.
If in any commuriitythe people can get the papers into com
petition for' public favor, then each will try to. outdo the other in
pleasing the people; and naturally: the most faithful representative
of the people would get the largest circulation, and hence the highest
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