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Newspaper Page Text
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He was bitter jn his opposition to labor unions and oftee used hie. ad
vertising space in newspapers to publish his personal opinions of irades
unionism. As editor of a newspaper that had an advertising contract with
tost, I refused to publish any of his copy that had in it any of his personal
opinions, or anything at, all except
straight advertising for the "stuff lie
was trying to sell.
Post canceled his contract and I
was glad to get him and his adver
tisements out of the paper.
I once told a big advertiser a big
storekeeper thisi "Ifyou don'tmake
money by advertising in my paper
you are a fool business man for ad
vertising in it. If you do make
money, then I am under no obliga
tion to you, and the policy of my
paper is none of your business. I
don't care for your advice on policy,
and don't feel under any more obliga
tion to you that I do to the poorest
man in town who has a penny to buy
my paper." ,
That was how I felt about Post and
his advertising, and it is the attitude
all publishers should take toward
their advertisers. If Post made mil
Hons out of newspaper edvertlsing,
why should newspaper publishers feel
under any obligation to him?
If he made money by advertising
he got value reoeived and was en
titled to nothing else
I say that the real obligation of a
newspaper should be to its readers.
There is an implied contract be
tween a publisher of a newspaper and
a reader that if the reader pays- for
bis paper he is to get the truth. The
publisher who colors the news or
suppresses the truth, or distorts it so
as to deceive his readers, deliberately
cheats his readers just as much as
a grocer cheats his customer if he
puts sand In sugar or palms off oleo
. margarine as fresh country butter
S straight from the churn
If' I were asked now what is the
matter with Chicago, I would sayj
that the worst thing the matter with
Chicago Is that its press. is not free,
that its newspapers dp not give the
people-the truth; that they try to
HWUkl Pjublic opinion by withhold-
ing, suppressing, coloring or deliber- '
ately distorting the truth..
And the reason for this is. that they
are edited from the counting room -where
the cash for advertising comes
in. , I think the people are coming to
understand this which may explain
the growing distrust of newspapers
by the people, and the decreasing in
fluence of newspapers as moulders of
There is npt nearly so much in
fluence wielded by newspaper edi
torials in moulding public opinion, as
in the earlier days of journalism in
this country. Many newspapers now.
are moulding public- opinion by
manipulating the news columns.
The editors take a mental attitude
of superiority, treating their readers
as so many children. They sit back
and -decide how much of the truth
THEY, intheir assumed superior wis
dom, think theirreaders should'have.
And the readers form their opinions
on what they are led to believe are
By distorting the facts publishers
are responsible for their readers
forming erroneous opinions.
I have no objection to any editor
having any opinion he wants to have
in his editorials, if he will only give
his readers the truth so they will
have the same Information he has .
on which "to base THEIR opinions.
To Illustrate: Hearst wants war
with Mexico., He not only tries edi
torially to stir up a public sentiment
for war, but bis papers handle the
news in a mariner calculated to make
readers see the situation from the '
Hearst point of view. And iis papers
color the news. Sometimes they
print as news something that never
Inflammatory headlines are printed
on alleged, news stories; that.ars
grossly, colored piejmjise- jwfer
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