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History of the American Newspaper Publishers Association

History of the American Newspaper Publishers Association

Edwin Emery
Copyright Date: 1950
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    History of the American Newspaper Publishers Association
    Book Description:

    The dramatic story of the association that for sixty-three years has held a position of major importance in the development of our free press. For the first time the full story of the activities of this influential daily newspaper trade association is told by a scholar who was given access to the association’s files of publications. The story of the ANPA is primarily one of the advancement of the business interests of daily newspapers and of resulting conflicts and adjustments with labor unions, communications competitors, advertisers, newsprint makers, and the government. The author analyzes these areas of activity and integrates the history of the ANPA with the economic, political, and social developments that have transformed America and its daily newspapers since 1887. Of major interest and importance is the discussion of the labor relations policy of the daily newspapers who are ANPA members. Other major topics include the association’s opposition to federal legislation which the ANPA asserted imperiled the freedom of the press; the association’s battles to eliminate tariff charges on newsprint and to maintain favorable postal rates; competition with radio, magazines, and other communications media; business problems of daily newspapers in the field of advertising; and mechanical developments which have revolutionized the printing industry.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3661-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Acknowledgments
    (pp. v-vi)
    Edwin Emery
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. CHAPTER I The Setting
    (pp. 3-14)

    THE American Newspaper Publishers Association was formed in 1887 by forty-six men as a daily newspaper trade association. Sixty years later it had a membership of 809 newspapers, representing more than 90 percent of the total circulation of dailies in the United States and Canada.

    Between these two dates lies the history of a typical trade association. It is undeniably a most significant and influential organization, for its members control the major components of a fundamental agency of mass communication. The story of their group activities is primarily one of the advancement of the business interests of daily newspapers and...

  5. CHAPTER II The Founding
    (pp. 15-27)

    AT noon on February 16, 1887, at Powers’ Hotel in the city of Rochester, New York, William H. Brearley of the DetroitEvening Newsaddressed forty-five other daily newspaper publishers and managers in entirely traditional style: “The gentlemen will please come to order.” The stenographer’s report¹ continues with Brearley’s opening words: “We have, of course, a little plan to suggest. . . .” And another group of Americans had begun the process of forming an organization.

    This, however, was no ordinary occasion. The meeting in Rochester was the climax of six months of careful planning and campaigning by a small...

  6. CHAPTER III Formative Years
    (pp. 28-53)

    THE American Newspaper Publishers Association, launched in the years when the United States was becoming an industrial, urban country, could hardly fail to grow or to face new problems in its function as a national trade association. Each year the members met in convention after 1887 the increasing complexities of the daily newspaper publishing business made it more apparent that cooperative group action was essential.

    In the larger cities the daily newspaper was becoming a business institution with departmentalized direction and complex financial operations. The modern, mass-circulation city daily was developing as the dominant journalistic pattern in the years around...

  7. CHAPTER IV Association Affairs, 1900–1918
    (pp. 54-61)

    WITH the turn of the century the American Newspaper Publishers Association began a rapid growth which saw its 46 first-day members of 1887 increased tenfold to 465 members in 1918. As it grew the association formalized its methods, established an official staff, and developed organized means of forwarding the membership’s aims.

    During the years from 1900 to the end of World War I, many forces were at work in American society which made an expansion of ANPA activities necessary. The United States was consolidating its position as an industrialized, urban country. Constructive relationships between publishers of newspapers and labor unions...

  8. CHAPTER V Arbitration with Labor
    (pp. 62-78)

    EACH year after the organization of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, problems of labor relations with mechanical trade unions were a subject of constantly growing discussion and association action.¹ And in 1899 the ANPA embarked upon the formulation of a comprehensive labor policy that was to be one of the most important actions ever taken by the publishers.

    Increasing mechanization of newspaper publishing in the closing years of the nineteenth century had required larger labor forces performing more specialized tasks. The publishers had formed local associations in major cities to deal collectively with the unions and had, through the ANPA,...

  9. CHAPTER VI The Newsprint Tariff
    (pp. 79-109)

    MAN’S ability to make low-cost newsprint from wood pulp, by a process introduced into America from Germany in 1867, has been a basic factor in the rapid growth of the daily newspaper. As Thomas B. Reed, once a publisher and more famous as Speaker of the House of Representatives, told the banqueting members of the American Newspaper Publishers Association in 1902:

    Power and circulation of the newspapers has grown tremendously. You may flatter yourselves, gentlemen, that you know the reason why. This tremendous circulation is not because of your superior ability, but is due to the absurdedly cheap price of...

  10. CHAPTER VII The Second-Class Mail
    (pp. 110-118)

    FROM the time of Benjamin Franklin newspapers have been granted special rates by the United States postal service. One student of this policy, Simeon N. D. North, said that the government “assumed somewhat of the attitude of a patron of the newspaper press, and avowedly undertook to encourage its growth as the most important disseminator of intelligence among the people.”¹ Another, Charles Evans Hughes, spoke of “the historic policy of encouraging by low postal rates the dissemination of current intelligence.”² Some critics of the newspapers, however, have called the granting of special rates a subsidy. More often it has been...

  11. CHAPTER VIII Advertising and Publicity
    (pp. 119-130)

    THE most constant and most important single activity of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, as a business trade organization, has been in the field of advertising. The ANPA was founded because the publishers and managers of daily newspapers were aware, by 1887, of the importance of three basic problems: the necessity of improving advertising solicitation techniques; the necessity of establishing workable relationships between advertisers, advertising agencies, and daily newspapers; and the necessity of promoting the daily newspaper as an advertising medium in competition with other media.

    Each year that the ANPA has met in annual session since 1887, the technical...

  12. CHAPTER IX Association Affairs, 1918–1949
    (pp. 131-143)

    THE American Newspaper Publishers Association had established for itself by 1918 a solid reputation as a trade association which could represent the daily newspapers in their dealings with labor unions, communications competitors, advertisers and advertising agencies, newsprint makers, and the government. Thereafter its story is one of continued action in these fields of economic interest.

    Like many of their readers, the daily newspapers lived in a state of relative complacency during the 1920s. After the postwar readjustments the ANPA found its task relatively easy in handling labor relations problems, the competitive advertising situation, governmental actions affecting publishers, and relationships with...

  13. CHAPTER X Newsprint Cost and Supply
    (pp. 144-168)

    PASSAGE of the Underwood Tariff of 1913 marked the end of the long fight of the American Newspaper Publishers Association for duty-free imports of standard newsprint,¹ and thereafter the publishers had little trouble keeping their “white paper” on the free list. American daily newspapers now had unimpeded access to the forest resources of Canada, and American capital rushed in to take advantage of the lower costs of raw materials and production north of the border. As a consequence, the problem of newsprint cost was, in large measure, alleviated for the publishers. But the end result of sacrificing domestic newsprint manufacturing...

  14. CHAPTER XI The Postal Zone System
    (pp. 169-177)

    THE principle that, as a matter of public policy, newspapers and magazines should be given special service by the United States Post Office Department was well established by 1917.¹ But there was a growing belief that the traditional cent-a-pound rate for second-class mail was too low. Post Office Department claims of annual deficits incurred in the handling of second-class mail ran from 50 to 70 million dollars, with magazines being held responsible for the larger portion of the cost. There seemed to be a plausible argument that both newspapers and magazines should pay a little more of the cost of...

  15. CHAPTER XII Troubled Years in Labor Relations
    (pp. 178-195)

    FROM 1900 to 1922 the American Newspaper Publishers Association and the four big mechanical unions representing the printing trades were committed to a negotiatory policy in labor-management relations. International arbitration agreements, given force by local agreements between publishers and unions, had proved mutually advantageous.¹ Daily newspaper publishers and their employees in the closed-shop mechanical unions had conducted their contract bargaining in a manner contrasting sharply with belligerent struggles in many other industries. The gradual deterioration, at the national level, in this labor-management relationship after 1922 forms the theme of this later chapter in association labor relations history.

    In 1920 the...

  16. CHAPTER XIII The Menace of Radio
    (pp. 196-211)

    RADIO was an enjoyable novelty, a competitor with the phonograph, in 1921. Ten years later every newspaper publisher at the annual ANPA dinner smiled wryly when humorist Will Rogers quipped, “I don’t know what you have to fear from radio, but if you’re worried — why don’t you just poison Amos and Andy?”¹ In that decade radio had developed stature enough to menace other communications media in competition for advertising revenue, and it was with that phase of radio that the ANPA was primarily concerned. In the 1940s radio’s onward drive impelled the ANPA to revitalize its promotion of the...

  17. CHAPTER XIV Mechanical Research
    (pp. 212-217)

    IN 1926 the American Newspaper Publishers Association established two new departments to further the business affairs of the members. They were the Mechanical Department and the Traffic Department, both located in the association’s New York City office. One studies the most effective and economical methods of producing newspapers; the other constantly watches the various transportation agencies of the country and obtains the lowest possible rates for the raw materials and finished products of the newspaper business. Both are interesting as examples of the work of a trade association.

    During the early years of the ANPA’s history, much attention was paid...

  18. CHAPTER XV Freedom of the Press, the New Deal, and the Guild
    (pp. 218-246)

    FREEDOM of the press is a liberty vital to the life of a democratic people and to the advancement of their common welfare. The American Newspaper Publishers Association has always stood ready to defend the right to publish news and opinions freely, under the protection provided by the Constitution and expanded through usage and legal decisions. Since the late 1920s the ANPA has systematically offered encouragement to newspapers which have found themselves harassed by a Huey Long or by an overly zealous legislature or judge, and which therefore have appealed to the courts to uphold the historic right to freedom...

  19. Appendix
    (pp. 247-250)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 251-254)
  21. Index
    (pp. 255-263)