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however, was in no way increased from its customary size, and it may make the table more clear to say that that paper has precisely the same size of page and the same width of column and the same style of type as the Times.

Number of Columns of Printed Matter in Fire Newspapers, from Monday, 5th,

to Saturday, 10th April, both Inclusive.

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For the purposes of comparison there is now deleted the space devoted to advertisements, and it is found that the following is the number of columns given to news and comment :

Times Standard Telegraph Scotsman Scottish Nerrs
306 180 151

276

317

The table shows that the absolutely largest of the five selected papers was the Times, followed by the Scotsman, with the Scottish News as a close third, and the Telegraph and Standard lagging materially behind as a bad fourth and fifth. When we deduct the space occupied by advertisements, however, and take the space devoted to news and comment, the places materially change. We find that, of the five papers, the Scottish News is first with 317 columns, the Times second with 306 columns, the Scotsman third with 276 columns, and far away and behind these, out of the race altogether, come the Standard with 180, and the Telegraph with 151 columns. To form a just view of this it is necessary for one moment to put on one side the threepenny Times, with its enormous revenue from all sources, and to take the penny papers only. Surely, then, it is a very extraordinary thing that two Scottish penny newspapers should be absolutely larger than the two chief penny newspapers of London, and that in space devoted to news and comment they should so far exceed the London press that the Scottish News at the one extreme is more than twice as large as the Daily Telegraph at the other. Examining the details of the table, it is found that almost identically the same space is given in all five to leaders, but that a completely contrary course is followed with Parliamentary news. In that the Times comes first with its wonderful record of 70 columns, then the Scottish News and the Scotsman run a close heat with 47 and 45 columns respectively, and the Standard and Telegraph follow a long way behind with 32 and 26 columns. In foreign news, again, the Times leads with 27 columns, the Standard follows with 21, the Telegraph with 12, and the Scottish News and Scotsman again run close with 9 and 8 columns respectively. In commercial and shipping intelligence the Scottish News heads the list with 59 columns, the Times follows with 52, the Scotsman with 41, and the Standard and Telegraph are again behind with only 30 and 23 columns. To sporting and athletics the Scottish News gives the alarming space of 45 columns, and the Scotsman follows with 20, while the three London papers give only 12 to 14 columns each.

The preponderance of sport and athletics in Scottish newspapers may best be left to the student of history as dissipating some popular delusions about Scotland; but to prevent unnecessary floundering after truth it may be said that a large part of the news relates to football, an exercise which has taken the place in the Scottish mind formerly held by theological discussion. News local to London occupies 12 columns in the Times, 7 in the Standard, and only 2 in the Telegraph, while news local to Scotland has 72 columns in the Scottish News and 44 in the Scotsman. The sum of these figures, then, is that the provincial papers give Parliamentary reports much more fully than the chief London penny papers, which have the House at hand, that they give commercial and shipping news very much more completely, and that they supply sporting and athletic news in a preponderance absolutely startling. While endeavouring thus to cater so liberally for those interested in politics, in commerce, and in sport, they also devote great space to purely Scottish news telegraphed to them from many places. It is needless to enforce the fact that all this means money, and money, and yet more money.

But this comparison has hitherto been made with the three greatest papers of London-papers having a circulation and an advertisement revenue to which no provincial paper can aspire. It would be more fair to the provincial papers to compare their size and their consequent outlay with that of the lesser London dailies, and as compared with these it may be said that the provincial paper incurs a cost in extra setting of not less than four thousand a year, and in extra paper (taking a very moderate circulation) of another five thousand a year. That is to say, the extra cost of telegraphing London and provincial news, and of maintaining a local reporting corps, and of procuring London political and social gossip, has been set down at seven thousand a year, and it is now added that the space to give both fully costs nine thousand a year in excess of what a London penny paper need spend. When we add to this the charge of maintaining a London office and of arranging for resident correspondents in every hamlet where the paper circulates, and innumerable other matters where a provincial paper incurs exceptional outlay, we

find that a first-class provincial morning paper pays twenty thousand a year for the privilege of being produced a few hundred miles from London. That twenty thousand a year is solely an extra outlay above what a London paper need opend, and it requires some courage to contemplate it and some confidence to rest assured that it will be repaid. Yet if there is any belief that good provincial papers grudge outlay it is entirely wrong. Granted that a thing be desirable, they will have it, no matter what the cost, and the rejection of a proposal because of the outlay involved is unknown. It rather seems as if both provincial and London papers have a delight in incurring outlays for little else than the moral consciousness that they are sparing nothing that may contribute to their excellence.

It would demand a close familiarity with the inner working of London newspapers to state the exact costs that they incur as compared with the leading provincial journals. In reply to an inquiry, they would probably suggest foreign correspondence and its telegraphic cost. To that it may be replied that the outlay of the Times on these things must be enormous, and that of the Standard and Telegraph very great, but that the provincial papers spend money on these things also, and that, having regard to their circulation and revenue, their expenditure should rather be contrasted with that of the lesser London dailies. The most enterprising provincial papers maintain correspondents in Paris and New York, and for other foreign news in ordinary times they depend on Reuter's service; and it is doubtful whether the London papers other than the chief three do much else. In times of war some of the provincial dailies form syndicates for supplying themselves with war correspondence, while others contribute a proportion of the expenses of a London paper in exchange for the use of that paper's telegrams simultaneously with itself. During a recent war there was one provincial syndicate whose correspondents' despatches were as successful as those of any pressmen with the army, and from whom a great London paper, in default of its own telegrams, was glad to be permitted to buy news at a considerable price. These telegrams were published simultaneously by the provincial papers in the syndicate, care being taken that the districts served did not overlap. Each paper of course published the despatches as from Our own Correspondent,' and obtained much reputation thereby. Thus these country newspapers had war correspondence quite equal to that of any London paper, and if the cost was less than the public may have supposed, that was the result of prudent enterprise. It seems to be the desire of most London papers, save only the Times, to retail their war correspondence to the provincial papers, and it is possible that this desire will increase. Meanwhile let it suffice that good provincial newspapers do incur the expense of placing a good man with our armies, and that, however much they may strive to reduce that expense by sharing it, they incur it freely and hamper their agent by no restrictions.

As the resolute way in which the provincial papers overcome by great expenditure the disadvantages of their surroundings has so far been shown, the spirit and courage with which they face difficulties that cannot be overcome merely by money may also be adverted to. In the case of a Parliamentary debate, the London paper has this advantage, that in ordinary course the report of the debate is with it a full hour before it can reach the provincial paper; and further, by reason of the railway arrangements, a provincial paper supplying a great area has to go to press half an hour before its London rival. Yet, as has been shown, the provincial paper gives a fuller report of the debate than its metropolitan contemporary ; and if the discussion be continued till a late hour, the provincial journal can only maintain its position by enormous energy. The concluding portion of a debate can be most speedily taken over the paper's own wires, and at the last the energy of messengers, telegraphists, subeditors, compositors, and machinists is wonderful. In one instance words spoken in the House of Commons at 2.25 A.M. were recorded in a newspaper sheet lying on a publishing counter in a provincial town at 3.22 A.M., and within twenty minutes later vans were driving away with many thousand copies tied up in scores of parcels carefully addressed to country newsagents. The calculation was that the House of Commons gallery staff spent eight minutes in transcribing, that eight minutes were spent between the House and Fleet Street-either by messenger or telegraphic tape-that six minutes took the matter over the wires, that the compositors had eight minutes for setting in small “takes,' that the maker-up had four minutes to put the takes together, that five minutes were spent in corrections, three minutes in completing the page on the stone, thirteen minutes in casting a plate, and that then the machine started. The allocation of time to each department, however, is more or less one of calculation, and the only thing absolutely asserted is the interval of fifty-seven minutes between the spoken words in London and a verbatim report in the accurately printed sheet in the provinces.

The difficulty of distance also tells heavily against the editor and his assistant and their leader-writers. It is a necessary condition of producing a satisfactory paper-satisfactory at least to the editor himself-that he shall publish a well-written article, explanatory and critical, of any important news in his sheet, and the custom everywhere is to have three leaders, each of a column or so in length, all of which should be relevant to matters of the moment. A leader is not an essay, but a statement, an explanation and a criticism of current facts. Now, whether the provincial paper places a leader writer in the Commons gallery, or prefers to have its Parliamentary leaders written in its editorial rooms, it is one hour behind its London rivals, and this one hour lost out of the small time available puts a physical and mental stress on the provincial writer which London journalists can scarcely comprehend. The stress, it must be observed, is not exceptional, but daily ; and if it falls daily on one man, he ought either to break down and fall below the bigh standard of physical vigour necessary for the best journalistic work, or alternatively he must take things easily and do them badly.

The custom of many of the best provincial dailies is believed to be to have their regular Parliamentary articles written by one man who is accredited to the Coinmons gallery, and who hears the debates, writes his leader, and sends his copy to the Fleet Street office. It is inconvenient unless the close of his article is in the provincial caseroom by 2 o'clock A.M. And as the paper can probably give only one of its wires to leader copy at that hour, it follows that one half of the article must leave the Commons by 1 A.M. and the other by about half an hour later; which means that in a late debate the representative of the provincial journal must write early and often fragmentarily, while a writer for a London paper may send his copy

much later, finish his article in a room in the office, and be there to see it in proofand to tone down any misapprehensions and crudities caused by haste. The provincial writer's article, written more hastily, is, on the other hand, only subject to revision by an editor who is himself ill acquainted with the course of the debate. Finally, there is too longcontinued a strain on the writer, and, as a result, the Parliamentary leader writing is the weakest part of the ordinary provincial paper.

It would be better if these leaders were written in the editorial rooms, and if, in place of giving all and sundry Parliamentary topics to one person, the subjects were allotted in the usual way—that is to say, if the debate is to be about a Highland Crofters' Bill, let it be given to the man who has written on the subject when it was on the carpet before it became a Bill; if it is on Irish affairs, allot it on the same principle; and apply the same rule to finance and all other matters. Let the writer see all the telegraphic copy before it goes from the subeditors to the case-room; supply him also with summary' messages from the gallery, and let him have, when it gets late, the extra time saved by sending his copy to the case-room in single sheets wet from his pen. If this be done with system, and if the writer has applied his mind to the subject and talked over the matter with his editor before writing, then, granting precisely equal capacity, the writer in the office will produce a better article than the writer in the gallery. And as he need only write a late leader' occasionally, he will have more reserve energy to work on. But with all he cannot write so good a Parliamentary leader as a man with equal capacity writing for a London paper.

There is, of course, an assumption here that the paper has always

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