Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/212

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

of newspaper combination that ultimately made the buying and selling of news a great commercial enterprise. Within a few years after the close of the war this system had been developed until practically all the daily newspapers of the country were interested in it or subscribers to the news collected and sold. This feature of the business continued to grow until agencies for the collection and transmission of news were established throughout the world. Similar associations were formed in England and on the continent of Europe, and news exchanged with the American organization. In the United States the business was developed until newspapers of particular sections of the country and even those of single States formed associations on the principle of mutual benefit for the collection of full reports of all important events within the territory where they circulated. At the present time the system has been perfected until the great news agencies of the country receive reports of important events from every quarter of the globe with a degree of promptness and accuracy rendered possible only by thoroughness of organization and the constant exercise of the keenest intelligence. The collection of all the news of the world would not be possible under any other plan, but the American newspapers, having created a demand for the news, were the first to devise a system of obtaining it promptly at a cost that made possible the publication of daily papers at a profit in almost every town in the country. Brief reports of all important events are transmitted by cable or telegraph to a central office in New York, Washington, or Chicago, where they are condensed or elaborated, as occasion may require, and then sent out over special telegraph wires to papers all over the country that are subscribers to the service. The larger papers of the country, however, do not rely upon this service alone. They are represented by special correspondents not only in all the chief cities of the United States, but in London. Paris, Berlin, and other news centers of the Old World.

The development of the newspaper into a medium for recording day by day every event of human interest was so rapid during the civil war and the stirring times immediately thereafter that many faults of form and detail remained. The journalism of that period was a new departure, and the men who created it had no precedent to guide them, but all the time there was a steady and intelligent effort to improve in all directions. The efforts of the leading men in the profession, influenced by conditions and surroundings, resulted in the creation of what were for a time known as schools of journalism—that is, one man set up an ideal, and another man strived to create a journal of another character. The