August 3, 1899: “Plain Statement of Facts for Public Consideration”

Plain Statement of Facts for Public Consideration.

Because of the malicious reports circulated by those who hoped to profit thereby The Evening World deems it necessary to lay before the public a plain statement of facts concerning itself.

There is no “strike” of newsboys at present. The unorganized movement led by those who hoped to gain public confidence by lying about their successful rivals  long ago collapsed. While this “strike” was in progress The Evening World deemed it wise to continue its own business in its own way. Now that The Evening World is for sale everywhere, as usual, it is only fair that the public should know all the facts in the case.

Not knowing the facts, it was only natural that the public should sympathize with the boys. So does The World–so long as the boys are reasonable. But sympathy must be based on common sense and justice.

The following will show at a glance the figure at which the evening newspapers of the city are sold and delivered to the newsboys:

Evening Sun……….60 cents per 100 copies

Evening News………60 cents per 100 copies

Evening World……..60 cents per 100 copies

Evening Journal……60 cents per 100 copies

No change in these rates has been made in more than a year; no change has been, was or is contemplated.

The Evening World until September, 1896, was sold at 60 cents per 100 copies delivered to the newsboys; yet the size of the paper and the cost of production was much smaller than at present. The paper averaged six pages a day: sometimes eight pages. The gathering of news from all parts of the world was not carried on in such a systematic and comprehensive way as at present. The size of the paper was unsatisfying. The public demanded a larger and a better newspaper, and this demand was meet by The Evening World without increase of price to newsboys, newsdealers or the public. That was the time when the evening newspaper was growing into its present gigantic proportions. And instead of a six or eight page paper daily the size was increased to ten pages, to twelve pages, and occasionally to fourteen pages daily. Every news agency and every newsgatherer of standing the world over was employed by The Evening World to obtain early and reliable news. The newest and fastest presses that could be bought were added to The World’s already fine press equipment.

In the face of this increase in size and great improvement in quality and as an experiment only, the price of the paper was reduced to 50 cents for 100 copies delivered to newsboys. After two years of patient endeavor it was found that the cost was too heavy, and the price was therefore restored to the same figure which the newsboys had paid and now pay for the Evening SUn and Evening News–60 cents per 100 copies delivered. This was accomplished, without friction, in August, 1898. Newsboys and newsdealers quickly adjusted themselves to the justice of the movement.

When the “strike” leaders asked The Evening World to cut its price below that of the Evening Sun and the Evening News, the unjust demand was politely but firmly refused. It was decided to maintain the rate paid byu the boys for the other evening papers.

The “boycott” of the newsboys, so called, was fostered by rival newspapers. To show that The Evening World is just and permits the newsboys to earn a fair profit, the following example is given:

If a newsboy invests $1 in Evening Worlds, his profit is 66 per cent, and a trifle over on that dollar.

If he invests $1 in Heralds, which sell for three cents, his profit is 25 cents on that dollar.

If he invests $1 in morning Suns his profit on that dollar is 33 cents.

The Evening World makes the largest and best evening newspaper in this city. It spends more money for white paper, for news, for cablegrams and for illustrations than any other evening newspaper. And for this splendid, complete paper The World gets only FIVE-TENTHS OF ONE CENT per copy. The news company, or delivery department, gets ONE-TENTH OF ONE CENT. But the newsboy gets FOUR-TENTHS OF ONE CENT for every copy he sells–almost as much simply for holding the paper in his arms as The World gets to pay its Union workers, editors, artist, photographers, pressmen, and for white paper, ink, news, cable and telegraph tolls.

It may be interesting to the public to know that a great many newsboys who sell Evening Worlds make as much as $2 to $3 per day. And in times of great public excitement they readily earn from $4 to $6 per day.

The World has dealt on a basis of great liberality with newsboys and with all others who participate in its production and delivery. It has opened new channels for the distribution of newspapers, increasing the number of men employed in producing the printed paper, increasing the number of papers sold, and increasing the earnings of newsboys and dealers, so that they now enjoy profits exceeding $3,700 PER DAY from the sale of The World alone, a profit of $1,352,000 PER ANNUM. Some dealers in the country districts do not pay for the papers until they have been sold, so that these dealers do not require one cent of capital.

The World has always been a Union newspaper. It has never employed other than Union workers. Every department of The World establishment is in the hands of skilled men and women who hold cards attesting their loyalty to their Unions. During the past eight years the colossal sum of $10,732,274 has been paid in wages by The World to Union workers, exclusive of the Union labor employed in making its white paper at an added cost of $5,000,000.

In every department of The World wages in EXCESS of the Union scale are paid to many workers, and full Union wages to wall workers. That the Unions has no grievance against The World is shown by the following unsolicited testimonial:

Whereas, Statements have been made that The World is not a Union paper; therefore, be it

Resolved, That we, the undersigned, Chairmen of the various chapels, hereby certify that there is not a non-Union man employed in any department of the New York World; and, be it further

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the publisher.

F.G. O’Daniels, Vice-Chairman……Typographical Union No. 6.

W. J. Dempsey……………………….Mailers’ Union No. 6.

Harry Boselly………………………….Stereotypers’ Union No. 1.

Thomas Halloran…………………….Evening Edition, N.Y. World No. 51.

A. J. Walker, Chairman…………….Mail List.

M. McNally, Chairman………………Finishing Department.

William H. Krumpter………………..Color Pressroom, Adames & Web Pressmen’s Union No. 51.

George W. Pearsall………………….Photo-Engravers’ No. 1.

J. C. Sullivan………………………….Engineers’ Department.

George H. O’BRien…………………..Franklin Association No. 23.

Chapel Chairmen.

The falsehood which the above voluntary statement thus sweeps away has been used by dying newspapers to mislead the public and further their own selfish ends.

James Gordon Bennett, in an editorial written by himself and printed recently in the New York Herald, declared that the Telegram had “ceased publication.” He remarked that “an up-to-date evening paper at once cent doesn’t pay.” What he meant to say is that a one-cent evening newspaper as large as The Evening World, employing a vast army of skilled Union workers, and gathering news that the public must have from all quarters of the globe, cannot be produced, except at a great loss, at the price the “strike” leaders named. As for The Evening World, it proposes to make even a better and a larger newspaper in the future, and to remain a Union paper in all departments, and without any increase in price, either to the public or to the newsboys.

Source: “Plain Statement of Facts for Public Consideration.” World, 3 Aug 1899, p. 12.