The Big Newspaper
Whon the big newspaper becomes still bigger how is it to be delivered? Newsdealers and carriers have already complained of the hardnessof the task of handling so nrany pounds of paper. How will it be when still more pounds are addedi Why, it will be impossible, certaiuly at the prevailing low rates. The days of the cheap press will be passed. The priee must be very considerably increascd to induce the middlemen to dispose of Mr. Jones' larger sheets and more of them. The newspaper of the future will be smaller instead of larger than the present average. And it will be no worse a newspaper on that account, but rather better. This result will be reached by condensation in the judicious sense. I don't mean by this "boiling down everything," so that tbere is little of spint or substance left in the article or paragraph, or anything much but the heading. The process to which I refer is condensation by exclusión. The newspaprr of the future will publish only what it is really worth while to publish. The newspaper of the present prints a vast mass of matter upon which space is wasted, which nobody is profited by reading or actually wants to read, or having read recalls a moment later. If all of this were omitted the newspaper would fhriiik rapidly. IN OTHER DEPARTMENTS. But it is not only the literary department that condensation is advantageously practicable. The commercial department is as inviting a field. I doubt that the present system of advertising will be in operation in 19S7, or even in 1937. An illustration will point the case. If all the newspapers in New York should asree to doublé their advertising rates, and if in consequenoe the advertisers should buy half as much space as heretof ore, it is, of cours?, mathematically demonstrable that the newspapers would be 110 worse off pecuniarüy. I thiuk it is morally demonstrable that the advertisers would be no worse off iii respect to the publicity of their business, but that all hands liy and by would be a great deal better off in every way. The advertisement would attract very nearly as much attention. It would get quite as much i f the advertisers agreed to stand upon a level. It is the competition in magnitude - the struggle for a longer announcement and for bigger letters, the mous alphabetical blotehes irhieh disflgure so mauy daily journals - that characterizes the system. Then there is another sort of competition within the paper itself, between the literary and commercial columns. THE PICTORIAL PRACTICE. Mr. Ottendorfer says: "I think the habit of presenting illustrations in such journals is foolish and in very bad taste." I certainly agree with him ; but if we should trace the genesis of the pictorial practice might we not find that it originated in part in a supposed necessity for an offset to the black, street poster letters of the advertisements? There was, perhaps, a disposition to restore the balance between the departments, and to do it bloated headings, monstrous "cuts" and diffuse padding of all sorts were resorted to. This policy of the literary half in turn stimulates the commercial half to fresh efforts. If journalism could recover from this madness of magnitude the two sides would still at and react upon each other, but in a more wholesome way. Botb would leam that there are effective opportunities in compactness of space and moderation of statement. It seems to me that the hope of journalism lies in some such reform as this. Otherwise its fate threatens to resemble that of an overgrown, gigantic vegetable, not nutritious, but running to useless pulp and improductivo seed. I think the newspaper of the future will have smaller pages and fewer oE them. The tendency almo&t everywhere seems away from the blanket form. - Cor. Brooklyn Eagle.
Ann Arbor Register