The dissapearing daily

Essay by umair_unique2kCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2002

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THE OUTSTANDING FACT in any survey of the American press is the steady and alarming decrease in the number of dailies. Consolidation, suppression, and a strong drift toward monopoly are taking their toll. With an increase in population to more than 130,000,000, with world-shaking events of almost daily occurrence and the need for detailed, printed information greater than ever in the battle for human liberty, there are at this writing but 1,754 daily English-language journals in the great American nation as against 2,042 in 1920, and 1,933 in 1930. The decrease has been marked throughout this century. No less than 104 dailies died or were amalgamated between September 30, 1941 and March 31,1943, although this period, except for the first two months, was distinguished by the attack on Pearl Harbor and the startling developments of our second World War. Not only were the factors making for the decrease of the dailies not offset by these thrilling events in all quarters of the globe, but there was almost no evidence of any desire to start new journals.

Moreover, the war added to the difficulties of the weaker dailies through increasing costs, scarcity of labor, lack of paper, and a large decrease in advertising, such as automobile announcements, though others showed striking increases. Today there are no less than 1,103 towns and cities with only one newspaper, and in 159 large towns and cities having more than one daily there is complete ownership of the local press by one man or one group.

It is true that, according to figures compiled by Editor and Publisher, English-language daily newspaper circulations increased approximately four per cent during the period from Pearl Harbor to March 31, 1943, the total daily circulation for all the newspapers being 44,392,829 copies. This is the highest figure recorded in...