1 NOVEMBER 1930, Page 35

The Press and the Public, by George Blake, being No.

21 of the admirable Criterion Miscellany (Faber and Faber, Is.), will be greatly appreciated by those—a growing number— who are conscious of the slow poison that is eating away our vitals, as administered in daily doses by our popular press. Mr. Blake finds the " stunt " press guilty on two Charges (1) of forging weapons that give it power to exert an excessive and illegitimate influence on the national destinies, and (2) of vulgarizing the mind of the nation. Granted that the value of the overt political activities of the popular press is nit, it has nevertheless a deal of influence through its methods of handling news. Under existing circumstances the power of selection, of emphasis, of suppression is in the bands of persons whose every action shows them to be devoid of a sense of moral or social responsibility. The whole trend of newspaper production, e.g., the prolonged agony of the hiss Amy Johnson " stunt," the growth of the so-called magazine side of daily journalism, the feature-page and the social gossip columns, is calculated to induce in readers a more and more trivial attitude towards every aspect of the national life. It is certainly time that the mild scorn and amusement provoked by the apes of Northcliffe and the

snippet " school were replaced by indignation leading to aCtiOn.