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Newspaper Page Text
would lose money because his advertising wouldn't pay, if he were selling an
article for, common consumption. " " , -.
And the average merchant or manufacturer is first of all a "business"
man and money-maker, and he would mighty quick place his advertising
in the newspaper that had readers and would bring results. ,
The trouble with the situation is that newspapers must please .the
public in order to get readers and circulation, and in pleasing the public
they generally run afoul of the interests of their advertisers.
If the newspapers listen to the appeals of advertisers and go too far in.
pleasing them, they will begin to lose readers. Then when they lose readers,"
advertising loses its effectiveness, and finally the advertiser will lose business
Newspaper readers know their newspapers better than they once did.
It is no longer easy to fool readers into believing the newspaper can serve
them and advertisers at the same time.
For years the Chicago papers have been doing their best to please the
big State street advertisers. News that the big stores wanted suppressed
was suppressed. But readers have been finding out that they were being
cheated in the news for the benefit of the advertisers.
Readers are finding out that there is a conflict between the public in
terest and the selfish interest of advertisers. Men like Bent are making
that plainer than itever was before. And now the claim is openly made
that advertisers support the newspapers, and hence the newspapers should
shape their news and editorial policy to promote the selfish interest of the
The newspapers are up against it. That is most of them are. They
cannot serve both God and Mammon. They will have to be with either the
public or Big Business -their advertisers. They will have to be free and,
stand by the people, or be slaves and serve the Invisible Government.
The Tribune got in bad with such advertisers as want to control the
policy of newspapers, by exposing the Invisible Government, as worked,
through the National Association of Manufacturers. And Bent's attack on
the Tribune indicated the policy the Invisible Government intends to pursue
Just as it conspired to destroy congressmen it couldn't control and to
crush labor unions, so it could reduce workingmen to industrial slavery or
prevent them from freeing themselves, so will it attempt to reduce a free
press to abject slavery through the brute force of its dollars spent for ad-,
It will attempt to subsidize the press with advertising to buy it with,
money. It is to the interest of the people to protect their RIGHTS by fight-,
ing back, and to stand by the newspapers that brave the wrath of their ;
advertisers and stand by the people.
I am for a free press in Chicago and throughout the world. As Thet
Day Book will not accept advertising, I am free to make the fight for the
advertising papers of Chicago who are at the mercy of their advertisers; andj
will gladly make it Chicago will not be free until its newspapers are free
from the vicious influence of that part of the Invisible Government that ad-j
vertises and wants to control the press. y
I believe there is no more important problem before the people of Chi
cago. It is worth debating in the schools: Shall newspapers serve the pub-)
lie interest or the selfish private interests of their advertisers? .
I wish that question might be debated in every school in Chicago. It
involves the liberty of the people andthe future of this republic It in-j
yolves the well-being ,of humanity and the progress of civilization. t r