The Philadelphia North American
publishes an extended notice from the foreign journals of the present state of the press in England
, from which it appears that the English
press has, within the last few years, undergone an extraordinary transformation.
The abolition of the tax on advertisements, followed by the repeal of the stamp duty, has exonerated it from all the heavy burdens (the duty on paper excepted) which weighed upon it. The number of newspapers has almost doubled, and their circulation has considerably increased. --It is no longer possible to ascertain the exact circulation of each journal.
The most contradictory statements are in vogue, even in the newspaper world itself, as well as in that of letters; so that the extent of the circulation of this or that journal is exaggerated or depreciated in such a manner as to put all calculation to flight.
Before the abolition of the stamp duty, it was easy to ascertain, almost to a copy, by means of the reports periodically published, what was the circulation of each newspaper; but now no newspapers are stamped except those destined to be sent by the post into the country.
The mass of the daily or weekly issue circulates free of stamp duty; so that the statements still published respecting the stamped editions of the newspaper will not give us the least idea of their real circulation.
One journal, for instance, may have a considerable circulation, and yet issue no stamped edition, its sale being limited to London
; while another, with a far inferior circulation, sends at least one-third of its issue to be stamped in order to be sent to different parts of the United Kingdom.
We give the names of some of the principal daily and weekly journals of the metropolis of which the stamped editions are given in the latest report published by order of the House of Commons.
The return includes the number of copies of journals of the United Kingdom stamped between December, 1857, and June, 1859. We only quote the returns for one quarter, selecting those papers which are the best known.
Of the daily journals, the number of stamped copies issued between the 1st April and the 30th June, 1859, were:
|the Morning Post||72,500|
|the Morning Herald||51,000|
|the Daily News||49,789|
|the Morning Advertiser||20,000|
|the Morning Chronicle||15,000|
|the Morning Star||9,000|
of the weekly journals stamped during the same period, (1st April to 30th June, 1859,) the numbers were:
|the Illustrated London News||432,923|
|the News of the World||118,400|
|Bell's Weekly Messenger||113,000|
|Bell's Life in London||83,000|
|the Weekly Dispatch||75,000|
|the Weekly Times||62,000|
|the Saturday Review||53,000|
these numbers, which have reference to the stamped copies only, do not, it is said, give an accurate representation of the circulation of these different journals.
A more certain guide, it is observed, would be the best report published previously to the abolition of the stamp duty, which took place in 1855; for at that time every number of each journal had to be stamped, according to law. The returns of the first six months of 1855, show what was the exact issue of every newspaper in the United Kingdom.
Although the report embraces a period of six months, a very simple process of division will enable us to ascertain the daily issue of each journal.
According to this report, we find that the number of copies respectively issued by the daily journals, between the 31st of December, 1854, and the 1st of July, 1855, was as follows:
|Illustrated London News||3,393,151|
|News of the World||2,885,000|
|Bell's Life in London||466,500|
|Bell's Weekly Messenger||504,000|
Although these returns of the stamped issue give no perfectly reliable bases as to the circulation of this or that journal, yet it is the opinion of an intelligent and practical observer, who has taken considerable trouble to obtain results, that the following figures approximate the truth: Daily circulation of the Times,
about fifty thousand; Morning Advertiser,
seven thousand; Daily News,
from three thousand to three thousand five hundred; Morning Post,
same; Morning Herald,
about two thousand; Morning Chronicle,
one thousand to fifteen hundred; Globe,
from two thousand to twenty-five hundred; Sun,
from fifteen hundred to two thousand.
With the exception of the Daily News,
which has recently reduced its price to threepence, all these journals are sold at four pence each.--The circulation of the penny newspapers is much more considerable.
According to some, the Daily Telegraph
issues daily 40,000 copies' or, according to others, 50,000 or 65,000; the Standard,
from 25,000 to 30,000; the Star,
from 20,000 to 30,000.
The Weekly Observer
issues about 5,000 or 6,000 copies; Weekly Dispatch,
about 40,000; Bell's Life in London,
These Journals are sold at five cents. The Saturday Review,
price sixpence, has a circulation of from 5,000 to 6,000; the Athenaeum,
sold at four pence, nearly 12,000.
The London Illustrated News,
which sells at five pence, has a circulation of nearly 100,000.
Of the weekly papers sold at two-pence, the Weekly Times
(an entirely distinct paper from the London Times,
) has a circulation of nearly 85,000; the News of the World,
of more than 100,000; Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper
and Reynolds' Newspaper,
of 160,000 to 180,000 copies.
Nevertheless, the public journals, it is remarked, form only a small portion of the periodical press, the family journals, published on Saturday, some of which have a circulation of 400,000 copies and the vast number of illustrated stories, novels and miscellanies, published on the same day and sold at low prices, completely throwing into the shade the circulation of the newspapers.
, it is added, every class and every opinion has its organ.
The sporting world are represented by Bell's Life, The Sunday Times, The Era, The Field, The Sporting Times;
and agriculture and commerce by the Mark Lone Express,
the Farmers' Journal
and the Gardeners' Chronicle.
The various shades of opinion in the Anglican Church are represented by The Guardian, The English Churchman,
the John Bull, The Recorder;
the Dissenters have Non-Conformists, The Patriot
and The Bulwark;
, the British Banner
and the Wesleyan Times;
Catholic Church, The Tablet
and the Weekly Register.
--The small towns have generally their weekly gazettes, while such a city as Edinburg
has eighteen, and Glasgow
thirty, besides their daily papers.
Politically, the London Times,
of journalism, represents, properly speaking, only the fluctuations of public opinion, to the pressure of which it invariably yields; it owes its power, perhaps, solely to that unquenchable mobility which is its only role and its pervading spirit."’ The Morning Post, The Globe, The Observer,
the Edinburgh Review, The Examiner,
are mentioned as the principal organs of the Whig party; the Daily News,
an independent liberal journal, represents more particularly the Russell coterie of that party.
The Tory organs are the Morning Herald, The Standard, The Press, Fraser
's Magazine, Blackwood
's Magazine, the Quarterly Review
, and the Constitutional Press
The Morning Chronicle represents the liberal conservative party; the Morning Star, the so-called liberal school of Manchester
; the Daily Telegraph
and the Westminster Review,
radicalism; the Morning Advertiser
is the organ of the ultra Protestant party.