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Newspaper Page Text
He was bitter In his opposition to labor unions and often used nip ad
vertising space in newspapers to publish his personal 'opinions of trades
unionism. As editor of a newspaper that had an advertising contract with
Post, I refused to publish any of his cbpy that had in it any of his personal
opinions, or anythingat all except
straight advertising for the stuff he
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 hig advertiser a big
storekeeper this: "If you don'tmake
meney 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 pohcy,
and don't feel under any more obliga
tion to you than I do to the poorest
man in town who has a penny to buy
ThaCwas how I felt about Post and
his advertising, and it is the attitude-
all publishers should take toward
their advertisers. If Post made mil
lions out of newspaper edvertising,
why should newspaper publishers feel
under any obligation to him?
t . If he made money by advertising
tie got value received and was en
titled to nothing else.
T 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
his 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
straight from the churn.
If I were asked now what is the'
matter with Chicago, I would say
that the worst thing the matter with
Chicago is that its press is not free;
that its newspapers do not give the
people the truth; that they try to
mould public opinion by withhold
ing, suppressing, coloring or deliber
ately distorting the truth.
And the reason, for this is that they
are editedfrom the counting room
where tbg cash for advertising comes
in. I thilTk the people are "coming to
understand this which may explain
the growing distrust of newspapers
by the people, and the decreasing ln
fli" c of newspapers as moulders of
tcre is not 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 readera
as so many children. They sit back
and- decide how much of the truth
THEY, in their assumed-superior wis
domthink their Teadera 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
witty Mexico. He not only tries edi
torially to stir up a public sentiment
for war, but bis papers handle the
news in a manner calculated to make
readers see the situation from the
Hearst point of view. And his papers
color the news. Sometimes they
print as news something that never
Inflammatory headlines; are printed
on alleged news -stories that are
grossly colored to prejudice $he. J5ub-.