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Newspaper Page Text
ONE MAN'S OPINIONS
BY N. J). COCHRAN.
Why Newspapers Degenerate. As
a rule newspapers like individuals be--
ggp to degenerate when they become
siccessfuL There are exceptions,
- but the rule is that when a man starts
, , out with a little money to build up a
newgpaperTie has to make brains do
, the workr He is radical, and appeals,
to the masses; for he wants circula-
, , bon.
L ." He worlcs hard himself, and gets J
i t aiong wiin as smau a sian as possi,-
W ble. When he gains public confidence
jijg and circulation he begins-to get ad-
fh ? vertising: - When he begins to make
v money like most men he begins to
take life easier. v
SfcjL When he gets rich he joins clubs,
sfa associates with other rich men, lets
others do the hard work, gets mto a
,vbjg home, buys an auto, eats too
f much and generally gets into the
- luxurious1 habits of the rich.
, His newspaper begins to take on
V his, point of viewi He is gentler in
..handling news and comment about
- the men he is now associating -with,
and he gets farther and farther
' away from, and out of sympathy
with, the average citizen especially
k the worker.
v 'The publisher's point of view
i changes. He sees things from the
. money side. The atmosphere in
7$ "which he lives is the atmosphere that
, influences the papers policy. He be
" comes more tolerant of the weak-
f lieaaea ui luc nun, auu less lUitHajui,
(jfp - of the weaknesses' oT the working
He may be just as conscientious as
he was at the start if he was con-
j selentious at the start but he sees
things from ah entirely different
- "- -point of view.
. " ' 3ut it is degeneracy just the .same.
f He 'isn't the- man he was when life
wasn'to soft for him. .He only likes
the. working class theoretically;-he
V prefers to associate with the soft-
elf thes crowd. And, as he looks in
hie mirror, he looks good to himself
in. evening clothes.
He's on the toboggan and doesn't
His paper, once successful, will
travel on its shape a long time. "News
paper reading isa habit a hard ope
to break. The salvation of some of
the successful papers "that have
grown rich, fat, lazy and reaction
ary is the news monopoly of the As
sociated Press in t)ie morning field.
That keeps some papers going when
they should be dead.
It is different In the evening news-"
paper field, and that field is growing.
Anybody can get the United Press
service, and it's a better service for
evening newspapers than the Asso
ciated Press. It grants no exclusive
That opens the field to radicals to'
crowd the conservatives put when
they grow rich and lose their useful--ness.
It saves the country from aa.
absolute monopoly in the distribution
of news to the people.
A Bluff That Was Called. I re
member reading not long ago an in
terview with W. J. Burns, in which
he saicAhekaew the man who killed
Mary Phagen at Atlanta, and that
he Would prove the Innocence of Deo
Frank. That was right after the
Burns agency was hired to save
Frank from 'death. '
Now the news comes from Atlanta,
that Burns has failed to make good
his boast. Numerous witnesses
whose alleged affidavits, were sub
mitted by the defense to clear Frank
have been repudiated by Ahe wit-w
neses themselves, knocking down!
the new defense that tried to hang
the murder on a negro.
Another story came from Marietta,
Ga., near Atlanta, to the effect that
Burns left that town in an awful
hurry and a shower of eggs, thrown
by" an angry crowd in that girlhood
home- of Mary Phagen. And at At
lanta attorneys for the state hurled
charges at the defense of bribery