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For the Newspapermen of the State of Oregon
New Federal Laws and Taxes as they Affect Oregon
By Edgar B. Piper, Editor of The Oregonian
The increase in second class postal rates, particularly the application of the zone system to second class mail matter, which is proposed by the war revenue bill of the House, involves a revolutionary change in the policy which governs the Postal Service. That policy has hitherto been to treat the mail system as a means of serving the people as nearly at cost as possible, not as a source of revenue; to provide cheap means of written and printed communication be tween the people at an equal price for all parts of American territory; to promote the distribution of newspapers and magazines at minimum cost for the spread of information and in aid of discussion of public affairs. This policy is a corollary of that other American policy of universal education, which aims to qualify every man for intelligent use of the ballot and which is powerfully aided by wide circulation of newspapers and magazines. It is directly opposed to the policy of the late government of Russia, which kept the people in ignorance, denied them information and stifled discussion, lest they learn too much of its vices and of democracy as a remedy for them. The American policy has been to unify the people by encouraging publications of nation-wide circulation, to inform them of their Government's doings and to promote its constant reform by stimulating intelligent criticism.
In place of the present uniform rate of one cent a pound for second class matter, the House proposes a graduated rate of 1 1-6 cent for the first parcel zone ranging up to 6 cents for the eighth zone. Its purpose is frankly to compel publishers to pay the full cost of carriage without regard to the profitable postal business of other kinds which they develop. These rates would prohibit sale of publications beyond the ﬁrst or second zone, except those which have large circulation. These could evade payment of the high rate by shipping in bulk by freight or express to the principal centers and by using the mails for distribution thence in the first zone. This device could not be used by many publications of small circulation. Their field would be reduced to the first two or three zones around the place of issue. From nation-wide publications they would be transformed into sectional publications, and a large number of new sectional publications would rise to occupy the field which they had been forced to abandon. Having a sectional field, they would take a sectional view of public affairs, that too at a crisis in our National affairs which demands cultivation of patriotism as broad as the republic. The few strong publications of large National circulation would occupy much of the field abandoned by their weaker brethren, and there would be a strong tendency toward monopoly in the periodical business, with all its attendant evils and dangers.
Trade and scientific papers would suffer grievously. They appeal to relatively few people in each center of population, and depend for circulation upon their ability to reach all the people throughout the country who are interested in their particular trade or science. Many of them could not continue to exist if conﬁned to a restricted ﬁeld by prohibitive postal rates. As daily newspapers have but limited circulation beyond the first or second zone around the place of publication, they would be less seriously injured financially, but the same tendency to sectionalism and to restrict spread of information and to prevent interchange of opinion would become apparent. The channel which has been used by the Government to reach producer and consumer in its present campaign for food production and economy would be clogged.
The country newspapers and those published in small cities and towns would be less affected directly than the great city news papers or other periodicals, for the House proposes to continue the present privilege of free circulation and the present second class mail rate within the county of publication. But the country editor would be injuriously affected in other ways. The daily press of this country is one structure, in which the big city newspaper is closely related to the country paper. The news of the world is collected and distributed by the Associated Press as the co-operative agency of the big papers, and through them it reaches the country papers. Any legislation which cuts the revenue of the big papers will reduce their ability to perform this necessary function. Every editor needs to keep informed of affairs and opinion in the country at large. and he can best do so by obtaining city papers; in exchange and by reading the weekly and monthly magazines. Prohibitive mail rates would put these beyond his means. The country paper's prosperity is closely bound up with that of the farmer whose success is promoted by the farmer's weekly paper. Newspapers of this class would cease to be National in scope, would be confined to a limited ﬁeld and would deteriorate in quality. Thus a blow at one part of the periodical press sends a shock through all parts.
Although the professed purpose of this advanced rate is to raise revenue, its actual effect would be to destroy many of the sources from which revenue is derived. The postal revenue directly derived from second class matter might be reduced to a sum even less than that which is now paid. Further, much other postal revenue, which is traceable to the wide circulation and advertising patronage of periodicals would be lost to the Government. They cause many letters to be sent at ﬁrst class rates, many money orders and parcels to be sent in response to advertisements. The number of these would be so reduced that the Government might be disappointed of the $50, 000,000 of war revenue which it ex pects from the increase in letter rates. The zone system would kill the goose which lays the golden egg.
The Senate ﬁnance committee was quick to see the force of these objections. It struck out the section establishing the zone system and substituted one raising the ﬁat rate from one cent to one and a quarter cents a pound, but it still believes that publishers should pay a special tax. It inserted a pro vision for a tax of ﬁve per cent on all net income of publications in excess of $4,000 a year in addition to the income tax, the excess proﬁts tax and all other taxes imposed by this bill and existing laws. I do not know how many publishers of country newspapers are now in the $4,000 class, but no doubt they all hope to be. Few, if any, publishers have earned any excess profits during the war, for the high prices of paper and of every other commodity used by them have tended rather to reduce profits below the peace scale.
The objection of publishers is not to paying their full share of war taxation, but to special taxes which are not levied on any other business, They protest most strenuously against a system of postal rates which in the pretense of exacting full payment for services rendered by the Post Office Department, would cripple, in fact destroy, the business of many publishers. They are ready to pay any part or all of their profits if necessary, to the Government in aid of the prosecution of the war, but they are not willing to submit to an impost which would ruin the business of many and to which no other industry is subject. If the present second class rate is too low, even when regarded as a feeder to other branches of the postal service, they are willing to submit to a reasonable increase, even greater than that proposed by the Senate committee, but they insist that this rate be uniform throughout the country and be a charge for service, not a tax, and most emphatically not a penalty for exercising the right of independent criticism which belongs to every free man.
There is ground for belief that the zone rates were intended as a punishment for those newspapers and periodicals which have upheld American rights during the war, which have called attention to the need of preparedness and which have condemned the supine indifference of Congress and of some executive officers of the Government to this need. This courageous course of the patriotic and wide awake American press has not been pleasing to those pseudo-statesmen who cried out for peace at any price and who are chagrined at defeat. That chagrin may explain the remark of one of the pacifist Senators to a delegation of publishers: "Don't you want to pay for your war?"
The best of all possible reasons for opposing special and unbearable exactions on the press is the desire of such men to cripple and stifle it. When the freedom of the press to discuss public affairs and to criticise the public acts of public men is attacked, all publishers of every class, whether they issue great metropolitan dailies or small village weeklies, have a common duty to rise up in defense. The duty is the greater because the attack 1s indirect, by men too cunning and cowardly to avow their true motive.
"Val" Hears His Number Click
Roberto S. Vallespin, Associated Press operator in the Eugene Guard office, narrowly missed the experience of copying with his A. P. report the number which carried to him the message that he had been drafted into Uncle Sam's great liberty army.
Mr. Vallespin, who is a naturalized citizen and sincerely patriotic, was able to do the next best thing, however—he heard the number clicked over the wire while he was sitting comfortably in the next room with his hands in his pockets, waiting. He had not yet finished his vacation, and the night A. P. operator was sitting in for him.
Suddenly "Val" pricked up his ears and commenced to pay close attention. "9-2-6" came the message.
"There it is," he said quietly. "They got me," However, he will not be taken in the first call, as Lane county's National Guard and volunteers more than supplied the quota of the county.
The Party Newspaper
By Wm. H. Hornibrook, editor and publisher of the Albany Democrat
A man without a personality and a newspaper without political convictions are twin brothers of misfortune. Neither of them gets very far in the world. They are neither much loved or much hated. They just exist and are of too little consequence to attract more than passing attention.
A newspaper may, however, fight for its political convictions and still decline to blindly serve party at the expense of the public service. A publisher may have political convictions without becoming the self anointed champion of every candidate whose name appears upon the party ticket.
If we are to have what may be strictly termed a party newspaper we must first have a party organization. There is no real party organization in the state of Oregon. There is political organization, but it is of the personal character. It is the arch enemy of party spirit and party loyalty because it is intensely selfish and knows no law but the law of self-interest.
The party newspaper as it was known a decade ago is therefore out of step with the march of events in this particular section of the west. Like the Red Man, the old time editor is being driven out of his old haunts and his place is being filled by the younger, but not necessarily more able man.
But while Oregon newspapermen can hardly afford to shut their eyes to the new conditions, in my judgment every publisher should have a well defined political policy. The man who edits the editorial page is either a progressive or a reactionary. He is either a positive or a negative quantity and his character will be expressed in the columns of his newspaper and his success or failure will be determined by his own personality.
In every national election the issues are clearly defined and there can be no possible excuse for editorial neutrality.
In a state election the issues are oftentimes less clearly defined, but it not infrequently happens that the press of the state is called upon to choose between the fit and the unfit. It then becomes the duty of the publisher to sharpen his pencil.
In a county or city election there is seldom an issue which is worth the cost of the printer's ink that is used by our editorial writers. When a newspaper becomes a rubber stamp for a county or municipal boss, or when, on the other hand, it attempts to become the dictator of things political, it voluntarily becomes its own pallbearer.
The political policy which I have followed with more or less success may be summed up in the following paragraph:
Strike seldom, but when you strike, strike hard.
Banquet for Publishers
Oregon publishers are to be the guests of the newly-formed manufacturers' bureau of the Portland Chamber of Commerce, at a banquet to be given in Portland on Friday, August 10, at 6 p. m. The central topic around the board will be publicity in the state press for Portland and Oregon manufacturers. Besides the manufacturers, there will be present jobbers of eastern-made goods, upstate merchants, and the publishers. Secretary Philip S. Bates, of the Oregon State Editorial Association, who has been working on this plan for some time, in a circular letter sent to newspapermen of the state, notifies them of the invitation given them by the new bureau, and expresses hopefulness that appropriations will soon be made by the big houses to pay for the publicity in the Oregon press.
Pendleton Convention Best Yet
Phil Bates lost track of the number, and it was the umpty umpth annual convention of the Oregon State Editorial Association that President E. E. Brodie called to order in the Umatilla County Library at Pendleton, Friday, July 13, 1917, and President A. E. Voorhies dismissed in the park pavilion at La Grande Sunday night.
From ﬁrst to last, the sixty or seventy newspapermen present and their hosts and families and guests listened to forty-four speeches, consumed seven bountiful banquets, not counting the luncheon President Farrell of the O. W. R. & N. gave the ladies in his private car, travelled together 316 miles in a train de luxe, taken three automobile trips running from four to ﬁfty miles each, and had spent at a rough estimate about six cents a head.
Pendleton, Joseph, beautiful Wallowa lake high in the Cornucopia mountains furnished the background for the meetings, and incidentally furnished nearly every thing else the heart of man could desire.
The convention program was a serious one, full of topics of professional interest; every paper received close attention, and many of them extended discussion. There was a close responsiveness between audience and speakers, which was perhaps never better shown than when E. B. Piper, editor of the Oregonian, called on late in a long hard day for his delayed paper on new laws affecting the press, refused to read it, but plunged into a wealth of personalities and humorous reminiscences of notable journalists he had met in his long career.
Mr. Piper, in fact, was rather the cut-up of the party all along the route, and only at the principal banquet Saturday night in the Eagles-Woodman Hall in Pendleton did he call on his big reserves of earnestness and force of purpose.
Frank Irvine, of the Journal, present for the ﬁrst time in years but pleased with all he heard and now expecting to attend regularly, was the other member of the Damon and Pythias act of eloquence and humor which was put on nearly every place the train stopped. The splendid contrast the metropolitan editors made was well expressed by Bruce Dennis at La Grande when he described to the people there what had happened at the Pendleton banquet the night before.
Those two speeches should serve as a guide and motto in the Work of state defense work, he declared. Irvine, personally the best loved of Oregon editors, with his tender love of country and lofty ideal of patriotic Americanism and human justice, no less than Piper, whose words had descended like a thunderbolt upon our American complacence and obliviousness to the life and death character of the struggle in which the country is engaged. Like dynamite he said it was, telling the necessary but shattering truth.
On the regular program, lively discussions began with the ﬁrst paper, in which W. D. McWaters, of the Paciﬁc Paper Co., predicted an immediate and steady rise in prices, Col. E. Hofer and Edgar McDaniel directed some artillery preparation and O. C. Leiter charged up with the ﬁndings of the Federal Trade Commission. The conclusion was the appointment of a committee to devise means of pooling purchases by counties and otherwise, consisting of A. E. Voorhies, D. C. Sanderson of Freewater and C. L. Ireland of Moro.
C. H. Fisher spoke on help and wages in the light of what might be expected from war conditions. He said he was a poor hand to treat the subject because he never had labor troubles, generally paying more than the scale and getting service in proportion. He said the war would not be altogether a bad thing for the newspapers, compelling them to ask and get better prices, be more businesslike, and check up more carefully. On the latter point he cited the instance of his own office where he found that of the 4,500 papers he was printing there were 200 he could not check up on. He immediately cut them off, and within a couple of weeks they were back on as new paid subscriptions, and he could account for every paper.
"My policy is to keep permanent employes and pay them the right wages," he said. "If the war lasts five years it will not hurt my organization much. I may have to pay higher wages but I am willing to pay more and ought to pay more."
Mr. Fisher in closing had his say on the paper price question. He disagreed with Mr. McWaters, and predicted that prices might easily go lower this summer before going up this fall or winter, a view which was finally adopted by the resolutions committee.
Clarke Leiter, publisher of the La Grande Observer and former city editor of the Oregonian, spoke on the subject of the help the papers could and ought to give the nation ill the present crisis.
"The campaigns for the Liberty Bonds, the Red Cross and for enlistments I consider the biggest thing the American press has ever done," he said.
"No one has suggested that the powder manufacturers ought to donate their powder, or the munitions or steel men their products, but when it was proposed that the newspapers should donate their ad vertising space, the only commodity they have to sell, they put aside all questions of unequal burden, decided to 'put over' the great national movements and they did it.
"The newspapers are absolutely part and parcel of the national government. We must do our duty if rewarded only in the appreciation of the people. We must serve the nation without hope of reward. The government and congress have looked upon the newspapers as a semi-public utility rather than a strictly private property. There may be strong arguments against this view but we are now facing facts. The decision is made and we must go through with it."
The resolutions committee later refused to agree that the decision had been fully made, and a resolution was passed to take up with the congressional delegation the unusual and troublesome burdens likely to be placed upon the press as well as the question of the donation of merchantable space.
Mr. Leiter went on to say that the papers could well undertake to serve the nation by eliminating waste and putting their internal business in good condition. They must cut off deadheads and exchanges they do not actually use, thus saving paper. "The people must be educated to thrift and economy," he said, "especially in the prevention and checking of waste. To win, America will have to give up many of her extravagant and luxurious ideas as well as something of our personal liberty.
"Our people must be made to realize the wonderful strength of the organization we are fighting if we are to win. This must not be carried so far as to frighten the people. They must be brought to a sane, optimistic realization of the serious job on our hands.
"We must perfect our own organization. We need our county councils of defense. In this labor difficulty we should round up all the vagrant trash, take the regular, legal means of having them declared vagrant, and then put them to work.
"As for food conservation, the women are tired of this continual din from men. They must get together and solve it in their own way, and the less advice they get from men running newspapers the better. I have tried it out in my own household and I know.
“And under the dreadful depression of the war, we must do what we can to build up the right war psychology. We must make the most of our weddings, social events and churches and try to keep going all normal activities. I believe in the newspaper in these times running light ﬁction, humor, cartoons, comics, and whatever will counter act the gloomy depression.
“No one was more opposed to the proposed censorship law than I. If it had passed I could not have obeyed it very cheerfully. The censorship we now have, for that is what it virtually is, is conducted by the heads of the press associations and not by a military officer and is much more satisfactory. Military secrets must be withheld, but the censorship should never go much further.
“The dissemination of news is a most important function. Then we must keep in position to prevent waste of funds, we must maintain a moderate tone and our patriotic duty; must not surrender our right of criticism, the fundamental basis of our press as an institution.”
One of the interesting sections of the program was that handled by C. W. Robey. Mr. Robey handed out samples of a letterhead job and got quotations on 3,000 from the publishers present. The prices ranged from $7.00 to $16.00. The variations appeared both in the estimates as to how much time was required, this ranging on one item from ⅛ hour to one hour, and in the rate per hour to be charged, this ranging from the wage cost, 37½ cent, to $1.50.
Mr. Robey then showed charts giving his own ﬁgures, resulting in a selling price of $14.07, and those of the expert of the Inland Printer, $13.19. Most of the quotations of the Oregon publishers ranged from $9.40 to $12.00.
Eric W. Allen, dean of the School of Journalism at the University of Oregon, used Mr. Robey’s ﬁgures as a text for the presentation of he advantages of using a cost system, enabling a printer to know with exactitude the precise line where loss ends and where proﬁt begins. Mr. Allen ended with an offer to install, free of charge, a standard cost system in a limited number of offices. This offer was taken up by six of the publishers present.
New Officers Chosen
The election of officers resulted in the choice of A. E. Voorhies, of the Grants Pass Courier, as president; George H. Currey, of the Malheur Enterprise, published at Vale, as vice-president; and Philip S. Bates, of Portland (re-elected), as. Retiring President E. E. Brodie, of the Oregon City Enterprise, was placed on the executive board.
Resolutions passed by the association, brieﬂy summed up, pledged hearty support to the government in the prosecution of the war; asked for legislation “whereby all the pulp and paper product of the country shall be manufactured, sold and distributed at just and reasonable prices which shall insure only reasonable proﬁts to the manufacturer and distributor; asked congress to appropriate funds for the purchase of newspaper space used in promoting governmental activity; provided for the appointment of a committee of three to work out a plan for circulating the tax list in supplement form in a large number of papers of the several counties (the committee to report at the next annual convention); endorsed the state’s good roads program, and expressed thanks to the people of Pendleton and other East Oregonians for their work in caring for the convention and entertaining so royally the delegates and visitors; thanked the officers of the association and the legislative committee of the body, Elbert Bede and Bert R. Greer, for their effective work during the late session of the legislature.
The association went on record for the principle of the flat postal rate for newspapers, increased if necessary to no greater extent than 25 per cent over the present rate. Secretary Philip S. Bates’s telegram to Senator McNary announcing the association’s action brought a prompt response from the senator promising to lay the publishers’ views before the senate committee having in charge the house revenue bill, without delay. Senator Chamberlain replied promising his earnest attention, and Representatives C. N. McArthur and W. C. Hawley wrote stating their accord with the views of the association.
Resolutions of sincere sympathy to the relatives of members of the association who died during the year were framed by a committee composed of C. L. Ireland, chair man; Addison Bennett, and E. Hofer, and passed by the association. Those who passed away were Leland Hendricks, assistant editor of the Salem Statesman; John E. Roberts, former publisher of the Vale Enterprise; P. C. Levar, former publisher of the Coquille Heraid; J. H. Upton, veteran connected with many publications in Oregon; and Mrs. T. B. Ford, wife of the association chaplain.
Those Who Attended
Among those present at the convention the representative of Oregon Exchanges noted: Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Brodie, of Oregon City; Oscar H. Neil, Oregon Posten, Portland; T. H. Timperlake, Lanston Monotype Machine Company, Philadelphia ; Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Crary, News, Echo; George E. Grow, Times, Juntura; David W. Hazen, Telegram, Portland; Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Morton, St. Helens Mist; Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Ireland, Sherman County Observer, Moro; Addison Bennett, The Oregonian, Portland; E. Elmore Nelson, W. D. Nelson, Record, Haines; Charles H. Fisher, Capital Journal, Salem; Henry Waldo Coe, Medical Sentinel, Portland; W. G. Bayles, Clatskanie Chief, Clatskanie; F. E. Carr, American Type Founders Company, Portland; S. A. Pattison, Herald, Heppner; Fred C. Baker, Headlight, Tillamook; A. E. Voorhies, Courier, Grants Pass; Arthur R. Crawford and wife, Times, Freewater; Robert W. Sawyer, Bulletin, Bend; E. Hofer, the Manufac turer, Salem; J. T. Caldwell, Keystone Type Foundry, Portland; A. C. Jackson and wife, O. W. R. & N. Company, Portland; Edgar McDaniel, Coos Bay Harbor, North Bend; Phil S. Bates, Paciﬁc Northwest, Portland; J. C. Dimm, News Springﬁeld; H. H. Bushnell, Oregon Farmer, Portland; Ben F. West and wife, Statesman, Salem; L. D. Drake, East Oregonian, Pendleton; C. W. Robey, Oregon City Courier, Oregon City; G. P. Putnam and wife, Bulletin, Bend; E. B. Aldrich, East Oregonian, Pendleton; Mrs. Nieta B.' Lawrence, Press, Milwaukie; H. W. Hicks, Union Paciﬁc System, Portland; C. J. McIntosh, Oregon Agricultural College Press-Bulletin, Corvallis; Clarke Leiter, Evening Observer, LaGrande; C. L. Adams, Linotype Company, San Francisco; W. F. Barney, Linotype Company, San Francisco; Miss Freda Hazer, Coos Bay Times, Marshﬁeld; Eric W. Allen, University of Oregon, Eugene; Lloyd Riches, Weekly Oregonian, Portland; W. B. Jessup and wife, Searchlight, Bremerton; Wash.; Stephen A. Stone, Statesman, Salem; George A., Scibird Eastern Oregon Republican, Union; Bruce Dennis, wife and son Jack, State Council of Defense, Portland; George P. Cheney, Record-Chieftain, Enterprise; W. E. Lowell, Tribune, Pendleton; F. B. Boyd, Press, Athena; E. E. Faville, Western Farmer, Portland; Elbert Bede, Sentinel, Cottage Grove; C. L. Smith, O.-W. R. & N. Company, Portland; J. G. Kelly, Bulletin, Walla Walla, Wash.; Bill Strandborg and Mrs. Strandborg, Watts Watt, Portland; Edgar B. Piper, Oregonian, Portland; N. J. Vanskike, Eagle, Milton; Calvin Goss, the Sentinel, Cove; Lee B. Tuttle, the Record, Elgin; Arthur M. Geary, attorney, Portland; J. D. Farrell wife and daughter, president O. W. R. & N. Company, Portland; J. R. Flynn, Blake-McFall Company, Portland; Snow V. Heaton, Record Chieftain, Enterprise; Mrs. George P. Cheney, Enterprise;"L. K. Har lan and wife, the Record, Pilot Rock; Miss Smith, Pilot Rock; J. L. Hutchins and wife, Independent, Ione; George H. Currey, Malheur Enterprise, Vale.
Print Paper Situation
The committee of the State Editorial Association named to make recommendations regarding the news print situation reported as follows:
We find that the present price of print paper is:
Ton lots, 6¼ cents.
Two and one-half ton lots, 6 cents
Five ton lots, 5¾ cents.
Car lots, 5¼ cents.
We have ascertained that it is very probable that there will be a yet lower price quoted in the near future, which will in all probability be followed by a substantial in crease likely to be maintained for a considerable period, therefore we do not recommend the purchase of any quantity of news print at the present time, but we do consider it good policy to keep a close watch on prices, and take advantage of the lower rate that will undoubtedly prevail within a short time.
Pooled shipments can be arranged by placing orders with the secretary, accompanying the order with a certified check for the full amount of the order, the combined orders making one or more car loads. These orders in turn to be placed with any paper house for a direct shipment from the mills to one of several forwarding agencies of Portland. This must necessarily be billed at the price prevailing on the day shipment is made, and will not be protected in the event of a decline. The shipment will also be subject to the usual forwarding charge. If there are fifteen publishers present who can use a ton each they can save a total of $300 by placing their order with the secretary for pooled shipment, this being the difference between the ton and the car load buying.
We believe it also good business, at the present time, to place orders direct with the paper houses for a year's supply of print paper, the order subject to the decline in price.
The committee was made up of A. E. Voorhies, D. C. Sanderson and C. L. Ireland.
Society Sub Scores
Published by the School of Journalism, University of Oregon
Issued monthly. Devoted to the upbuilding of journalism in Oregon
Free to Oregon newspapermen
Contribution of articles and items of interest to editors, publishers and printers of the state is welcomed.
Here We are Again
Oregon Exchanges was so warmly received by the newspapermen of the state last month that it has no hesitation whatever in presenting itself again. We noted a good deal of friendly comment in the state papers regarding the first issue, and never an unkind word. Hence this confidence.
A gratifying aftermath of Vol. I. No. 1 was a considerable number of volunteered offers to cooperate in the preparation of the best possible kind of material for the succeeding issues. This attitude on the part of the newspapermen of Oregon augurs well both for the future of the publication and for that of the newspaper men themselves, for it is the spirit that spells progress.
As announced in advance by the editors of this little magazine, its success depends most largely on the interest taken and the help given by the editors and publishers of the state. We don’t know how to make that too strong. Thank you all, then, for your co operation and helpful spirit, al ready shown. The response to the request to put this paper on the exchange list was almost unanimous from the newspapers of the state.
Don’t be surprised if you get a specific request to help out with an idea. And, finally, don‘t wait for the request. Write something which you think will interest some considerable fraction of the newspapermen of the state, and put it into an envelope addressed to Oregon Exchanges.
C. H. Fisher’s Theory
By Eric W. Allen
Pendleton as host to the Oregon State Editorial Association made a deep impression on the visiting editors.
It wasn’t the lavishness of the entertainment, though $2,500 in cold cash was raised for the purpose. It wasn’t the perfection and finish with which everything was done, though the splendid banquet with two toastmasters and the white bear acting as censor might serve as a sample of hospitality that included gracious tact, and a general worthwhileness that pervaded everything. It wasn’t any of the things that E. B. Aldrich, slipping quietly and watchfully through the background, could suggest to a united, energetic and opulent community.
It wasn’t even the splendid example of cooperation when La Grande and Joseph made common cause with their sister city, and each of the three magniﬁed and praised the others.
Every editor had his own theory why the convention was the success it proved.
Charles H. Fisher, the sage of Salem, has built up four successful daily newspapers through his uncanny ability to put his ﬁnger on exactly the right spot. “The secret is,” he said, “that these people like to do these things. Other towns get by with the same kind of enterprises Pendleton undertakes, but they don’t have the happy faculty of making you feel that it’s a privilege to be allowed to do it. These Pendleton people are having just as good a time as we are. It makes them happy to spend money.
“I remember it was the same here twenty-ﬁve years ago. It was during the hard times of ’92 or ’93 and in addition the wheat crop was very bad. But these people turned just the way they are doing now. The editorial association came here for a two days’ session, but had such a good time we stayed a week. And it was a great week.”
Bar the Campfollowers
Years ago, a meeting of the State Editorial Association was likely to consist of about forty per cent of newspapermen and about sixty per cent of candidates for various oﬂices, politicians, promot ers and people with various axes to grind. It is a fact that under these circumstances many of the ablest editors in the state formed the habit of staying away from the meetings.
This year there came to Pendleton the ﬁnest representation of newspaper ability and inﬂuence ever gathered together in Oregon. One hundred per cent of those at tending were there legitimately. They were all editors and writers and their families with a few per fectly welcome agents of establish ed supply houses. The change is salutary. It has brought the strongest men in the state back into the association. It adds to the positive value of every meeting. The new condition is due to sev eral causes. For one thing, no one gets a place on the program in these days unless a committee is convinced that he has a subject on which he is better qualiﬁed to speak than anyone in the audience. The talks are based on successful ex perience. Another helpful factor has been C. L. Ireland’s proposi tion that membership vests in a publication and not in an individ ual. This tends to cut out the campfollower. Most effective of all, however, is the policy initiated by Elbert Bede when he was president, and enforced with increasing strictness by E. E. Brodie in his two administra tions, to the effect that the associa tion shall endorse nobody for any
office or in connection with any project.
This rule was most happily vio lated at La Grande when the asso ciation, working on his patriotism, virtually forced one of its loyal members, Bruce Dennis, to post pone his private plans and accept the directorship of the state de fense league. The incident was dra matic and appealing, and the state is the better for E. B. Piper’s sud den inspiration that brought it about. While every good rule is made to be occasionally broken, however, the annual meetings should be kept as an institution to which newspa permen go for the sole purpose of self enjoyment and self advance ment, and the advancement of their profession. i_O_.i_
Editor Wants Plate Editor R. M. Standish, of the Eastern Clackamas News, of Es tacada, writes Oregon Exchanges to point out that government and college publicity departments could get much more of their mate rial over in the country press if they would send it out in plate form, rather than merely sending the copy and expecting the rural
publisher to bear the cost of setting it up. He suggests that suitable plate could either be given or sold to the papers. The matter of ex pense lies at the root of this prob lem. The question is, whether suf ﬁcient saving could be made to the country publisher to justify the heavier expense to the institution supplying the plate. Furthermore, the editors would ﬁnd more dith culty in applying their blue pencil to the plate than they do now to the printed matter with which their desks are ﬂooded. Mr. Stan dish’s communication which is of considerable length is crowded out of this issue by editorial conven tion matter. It is hoped to publish it in a later number.11
Pendleton's Best Gift
George H. Currey said a lot in a few words when he spoke in the open park pavilion at La Grande where the last session of the state editorial convention was held in the soft evening air of eastern Oregon.
"It will be the policy of the editorial association for the coming year," he declared, "to try to instill the Pendleton spirit throughout the state of Oregon."
That shows what a success the meeting was.
It tells why it was a success.
It gives some idea of where the gain in the long run returns to "the best liked town in the state" by reason of its breadth and un selfishness.
It furnishes an indication of the renewed vigor and optimism and encouragement each editor took home with him.
It creates an idea of what a united and high minded press can do for Oregon, and, in time, will do.
It puts it up to Coos Bay. It's not the banquets nor the scenery. The hospitable southwest always does things with a grace of its own. The challenge is for Coos Bay to furnish the press of Oregon, as Pendleton did, with a new and different vision of community build ing and community life, big enough and fine enough to keep the papers keyed up to missionary zeal in their own towns for a full year.
Sketches of Old-Timers
Veteran newspapermen now living in Oregon are invited to send in sketches of their careers to Oregon Exchanges, accompanying these, whenever convenient, with their photographs. The sketches will be made a regular feature of this publication, and with the pictures will be kept for historical purposes. Any reader of Oregon Exchanges who knows an over-modest veteran of journalism is urgently requested either to undertake the write-up or send in a tip regarding the old-timer's whereabouts. Chatty biographies or autobiographies containing details of some incident of interest or help to the present-day workers in journalism will be most welcome.
Oregon Exchanges is supplied free to newspapermen and to no one else. No extra copies are printed. Any newspaper man in Oregon, even if he has retired but is still with us in spirit can have the paper by sending his name.
The next issue of Oregon Exchanges will appear in October.
Fruit Markets Analyzed
E. H. Shepard, editor of Better Fruit, published at Hood River, published in his July number the result of his investigations into the distribution of apples in the markets of the United States. He goes into specific details as to where the fruit has been going. Classifying the cities of the United States into five groups, ranging from the 3,000 to 5,000 class up to the more than 50,000, he ﬁnds that 295 of these cities have been sold and 1,791 have not been sold. Mr. Shepard's conclusion is, that the trouble with the apple market is not one of overproduction but of faulty distribution, and he concludes that if a sufficient number of salesmen, properly distributed, be added, the 1917 crop can be disposed of at satisfactory prices.
Business Office Remodeled
Does it Pay to Put Life Into the Editorial Page?
Excerpt from Paper Written for Oregon State Editorial Association by C. E. Ingalls
Editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times
If I were going to answer this thing seriously, in other words if I were in a high school debate about the matter, and had the affirmative side I would ﬁrst look about and examine all the live editorial pages and fat bank ac counts I could ﬁnd and then decide. My acquaintance, unfortunately, with editorial pages, where I also have had an acquaintance with the cash register, is not in the immediate vicinity of Oregon. I have to go farther east. For instance, selecting a small country daily such as the Medford, Albany, Oregon City, and Corvallis papers I natur ally think of the Emporia Gazette and the Atchison Globe. " ‘ " " *
All thru my observation of news papers, the ones that put life into them editorially are the ones that have been successful. I know half a hundred live country papers that are making easy money but wheth er the money is the result of the life put into them or whether the life is put into as a result of the money they make I do not know. I know, and you know, dozens of country dailies and weeklies that have no more life nor individuality than the mummies of Egypt, but they seem to be getting along and some of them are making money. I would like to mention a few of them to illustrate my point, but I have a wife and two children de pendent upon me for such support as they get and while living expen ses are mounting higher and higher on account of iniquitous food pi rates, I do not feel that they could afford a funeral in the family at this time. There can be little dan ger, however, in naming some of the good ones in Oregon to illus trate what I understand by news
paper “life.” After the Pendleton papers, of course, one of which I have never seen, the best edited paper in Oregon is the Medford Sun. The so-called heavy editor ials combine the proper happiness of expression with their logic and the paragraphs are clever, spon taneous and full of spice and vari ety. Other editorial writers have the same idea and express the same idea that the Sun conveys, but they do it with a dull, heavy monotony, which, while it leaves no doubt of the writers’ sincerity and wouldn’t offend their worst enemies, yet you would have to love the writers with an affection that would make the friendship of Damon and Pythias seem like a Kentucky feud before you would wade through their copy if you had anything else to do. And the Sun looks prosperous. Another prosperous paper with a live editorial page is the Salem Journal. If Charles Fisher ever wrote anything that I agreed with I must have overlooked it, yet his page is one of the few I regularly look at because he expresses his discontent in such a live and orig inal way that it is readable. I don’t know whether or not that is why the Journal has the largest circulation in the state outside of Portland, but it must have because it says so itself and it ought to know, and no newspaper ever tells lies about its circulation. I know this is dangerous ground, this commenting on newspaper con
temporaries, but it is the danger that makes the ﬁrst skating good, therefore I will mention the Oregon Journal. From my point of view, how in the world did the Journal ever succeed in putting over its peculiar form of political and eco
13 nomic philosophy except that it presented it with an originality and punch and persuasiveness that made the editorial page alive and its owner one of the wealthiest men in Oregon? At least it used to be alive and full of pep a few short months ago, but alack! since the take delinquent tax list controversy raged through the legislature like a pestilence, the Journal has ceased coming to my desk and I see it, forsooth, no more. But alas, poor Yorick! I used to love to read it tho I hated every word it said and I merely pause here to drop a tear of appreciation on the cantankerous strenuosity that makes its editorial page alive and different and therefore brings money into the business office.
And that’s one way of answering the question “Does it pay?” Every newspaper office is divided into three grand divisions, the back end, the business oﬂice, and the writing staﬂ. None of them can get along without the other, tho the busi ness oﬂice always imagines that it barters and bargains and slaves and rushes advertising for the sole purpose of paying off a lot of loaf ers in the writing staﬁ. The writ ing staff in its turn always knows that it is not appreciated and that it could make more money doing something else but it never does. The business manager has to be an unimaginative, stolid individual, but all good writers so far as I know are tempermental, ﬂighty and erratic as a musician but not so tight. They are not only queer, eccentric and indifferent but they are glad of it.
Every newspaper man says that he leads a dog’s life yet every news paper man that sells out with a ﬁrm determination to live some other kind of a life nearly always sooner or later comes barking happily back to his newspaper kennel. Speak with an average bunch of men at this gathering and they will tell you that the business is “all right, but it doesn‘t pay any thing,” yet not one of them could make as much money as he is making with twice the effort in any other profession and not all of them are putting any life into their editorial pages either.
And so, I quit the subject not knowing whether I have answered the program committee’s question. My own notion of it is that it pays to try. Not all success is measured by the cash register. The thing most of us are hunting for is happiness and it is the most elusive jade to hunt it you follow some body else’s directions. In my own mind I am convinced that wealth and fame are the least important things in the scheme of existence, and yet I would enjoy having a modicum of both. The real way to be happy is to enjoy your work and it you enjoy putting “life” into the editorial page, or any other page, you will be happy doing it and therefore receive the very best possible pay.
Special Livestock Number
The Crook County Journal, published at Prineville, called attention to Prineville as a cattle center by issuing, July 12, a special live stock number of 32 pages. The edition, copiously illustrated, was tat with advertising, full of matter descriptive of Crook county’s cattle industry, and handled also its usual grist of live local and neighbor hood news. Guy La Follette has given a ﬁne example of what a country shop can do when the owner tries.
For Permanent Improvement
The Bend Bulletin, as a result of its observation on July 4, again points out the necessity for a permanent rest room, for the use of visitors throughout the year. The temporary quarters supplied on the holiday served, in the judgment of the Bulletin, to emphasize the needfor such an institution at all times. Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/32 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/33 Page:Oregon Exchanges.pdf/34
All Over Oregon
The Coos Bay Harbor is pounding its home town on the back to install a ﬂre-alarm system.
The Newberg Graphic is conducting a vigorous campaign against motorcycle and automobile speeder.
The La Grande Evening Observer gave its staff and printers a holiday and did not issue on Independence Day.
The Portland Spectator claims to have been the ﬁrst to use the title "Sammies" to designate the American troops.
The Portland Journal was all dressed up with the ﬂags of many nations in honor of the visit of the Belgian commissioners.
The Heppner Herald has announced it will send the paper free to each of the Morrow county boys who is enlisted in the army or navy.
Frank Hochfeld, librarian of The Oregonian, expects to be called into service in August, as he is a member of the Coast Artillery, Oregon National Guard.
Allen G. Thurman, formerly of the Portland Telegram circulation department. is The Dalles Chronicle's new manager of circulation, which he is rapidly building up.
Philip Jackson, son of C. S. Jackson, publisher of the Journal, is in Portland after having completed his post-graduate work at Harvard, and is in the Journal's business office.
C. S. Jackson, publisher of the Journal, is home after an extended visit in the east and south, part of which he passed in Johns Hopkins hospital, Baltimore. Mr. Jackson is well again.
Miss Lucile F. Saunders, of Portland, a student in the school of journalism of the University of Oregon, is spending the summer pursuing the elusive item to its lair for the Coos Bay Daily Times, at Marshﬁeld.
Earl Murphy, formerly a student at the University of Oregon and now night editor of the Morning Enterprise, of Oregon City, plans to resume his work at the University next fall.
Miss Florence Elizabeth Nichols, society editor of the Salem Statesman, is spending her vacation at Portland and the beaches. Miss Loraine Ross is substituting for her during her absence.
The partnership of M. L. Boyd and J. E. Bloom, former publishers of the Polk County Itemizer, was disolved July 1. The Itemizer will continue publication with Mr. Boyd as editor and manager.
J. L. ("Count") Wallin, telegraph and music editor of the Port land Journal, managed to take three days off just prior to the music festival that he might be at his best in handling that big event.
B. C. Y. Brown, former editor of the Bohemia Nugget, was in Cottage Grove with his family the past week He now lives in California and travels by automobile. The Nugget was consolidated with The Sentinel.
C. J. Howard, former publisher of the Western Oregon, now the Cottage Grove Sentinel, visited relatives and friends in Cottage Grove a few days ago. Mr. Howard is now manager of a milling business at Glendale.
M. D. Foor, a printer, who, for four or ﬁve years was on The Oregonian prior to enlisting in the ser vice, is dead at one of the training camps, according to brief information received by some of his erst while co-workers.Joseph Macqueen, music and and exchange editor of The Oregonian, was one of the singers in the big chorus which dedicated the new $600,000 public auditorium July 5, 6 and 7. Mr. Macqueen, who years ago hailed from bonnie Scotland, is a member of the Apollo club.