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Newspaper Page Text
'.for some of. which the client pays and the agency doesn't. And it is the weak
papers thatv stand for this kind of hqld-up.
It is the- weak papers that try to defeat legislation advertisers don't
want enacted and to help pass laws they do want; and some agencies act,
in this way, as lobbyists for their clients.
In the big cities public service advertising is sometimes placed by ad
vertising agencies thatxombine lobbying for their clients interests with the
advertising business; and the newspapers are often human enough to keep
mighty quiet about the lobby activities of the agents that give them busi
ness. The amount of money spent annually in advertising by the public ser
vice corporations runs up into big figures; and powerful politicians have
much to. say about how this money is spent. They wield a powerful in
fluence in determining what agencies will get the business, and hence the
It is but natural that such influential politicians have a powerful pull
with the newspapers.
In some cities where a political machine is friendly to certain news
papers the machine can help those newspapers get advertising from local
business men who want favors from the administration. And in this way
advertising has its influence on government.
In any city where there is such a secret community of interests be
tween newspapers and Big Business, the public foots the bills and gets the
worst of it.
If all the public utilities in Chicago ever get into one big combine that
combine will have millions to spend for newspaper advertising, if need be,
" and its influence on newspaper policy and government will be enormous.
On the other hand, the people have a power greater than the power of
money, once they learn -how to use it. It is the power to take away from
any newspaper that betrays them the only thing that makes advertising
space valuable. That's circulation.
There is a remarkable demonstration of this right here in Chicago now,
one of the most instructive object lessons ever taught a newspaper publisher
by the people.
I refer to the war between Hearst and organized labor.
By pulling together the labor unions of Chicago have whipped Hearst
in a notable battle.
This illustrates what the people can do when they organize. It also
gives newspapers a line on what the people can do to any newspaper that
betrays its readers, when the people organize and act together.
And the people will have to act together if.they want government by
the people instead of government by Big Business. The searchlight of pub
licity will have to be turned on the Divisible Government The people will
then-learn to support the newspapers that stand for the public welfare and
to stop taking the newspapers that attempt to rule thqir readers in the in
erest of Big Business. -
A newspaper press that isn't free to fight for a square deal for the
wqrkingpeople of this country isn't a free press. It is a kept press.
The future of this country depends upon the kind of citizens the boys
and girls of today will be when they grow up and raise children oFtheir own;
and The vast majority of babies of today are born in the homes of the men
and women who work for their "living.
The steel machines that save labor and enrich the few who own them
don't have babies-and-don't make American citizens.
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