11 MAY 1929, Page 13


An avalanche of newspaper protest has followed the revelation that one of the large power companies had invested substantial sums in purchasing an interest in various news- papers. This particular power company also manufactures news print paper, and the claim of the company was that its purchase of an interest in newspapers was purely and simply in order to secure a market for its paper. Without necessarily questioning the good faith of this statement, there has arisen an unmistakable public demand that newspapers shall not be directly or indirectly controlled by public utilities. A few days after these disclosures Frank Gannett, owner of the Brooklyn Eagle and a chain of newspapers, repaid the loans he had obtained from this power company. Efforts are being made in the Senate and the House of Representatives to push the investigation further. The most interesting aspect of this situation is the almost unanimous demand of the Press that every American newspaper shall be free of the taint of serving—even indirectly—a selfish rather than a disinterested public purpose.