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of Manchester and its vicinity. It must therefore, have an extensive circulation, and be of a nature to cause the liberal sentiments which it advocates to be very much diffused. Of the Manchester Times every thing that we know is highly satisfactory. It has invariably advocated popular rights and popular interests, and has advocated them with ardent and honest zeal. The circulation of the Manchester newspapers is less extensive than it would be, from the density of the population of the district, and the disposition to reading, from the circumstance of several towns within a short distance, such as Stockport, Bolton, &c. having each a newspaper; but it is nevertheless great, and it is computed that each copy of a liberal newspaper printed in Manchester, has from fifty to eighty readers (taking, of course, the average upon the whole number). This is more than we should be disposed to credit from the calculations generally adopted ; but as it has been communicated by persons likely to be well acquainted with the fact, it is but fair to state it. Of the fifteen papers published in Liverpool and Manchester, about two thirds may be said to be liberal; and that also is the precise proportion at Leeds ; but at Birmingham, where, notwithstanding the extent of the population, there are but two papers, neither can be considered as decidedly so ; whilst in Brighton, which from a variety of circumstances, one would be disposed, without positive evidence to the contrary, to regard as the focus of the aristocracy, with a population not half so extensive as that of Birmingham, with no debouché to the south, and with no large town east or west, for the circulation of papers (except Lewes, where there is an old established paper called the Sussex Advertiser) two out of the three papers there published are liberal. One of them, indeed (the Guardian), is remarkably so; and it may be said, to the credit of the town, that no case of injustice, or undue partiality in the authorities, can pass unnoticed or uncensured. In country towns, papers which, without being actuated by a mean spirit of envy or dislike, manifest a proper portion of distrust of local authorities, much good is produced, and much evil is prevented.
It is difficult to assign any reason for this great difference. It is not for want of spirit or wealth at Birmingham that there is not a greater number of newspapers, and it is rather an extraordinary fact, that the taste for newspaper-reading is there so great, that a subscription reading-room upon a very extensive scale has been established, and is fully frequented. Besides, Birmingham has long been a very populous and busy place; whereas Brighton, forty or fifty years ago, was a mere fishing town; and little more than twenty years ago it had not a single newspaper. The first speculation in this way was by an auctioneer, who probably established a paper chiefly as a medium for his own advertisements, under the title of the Brighton Herald, which still exists, and has a wide and respectable circulation. A few years subsequent to the establishment of this paper, another was started on the high Tory interest, called the Brighton Gazette. This paper has a good circulation, and is conducted with much talent. It is the organ of the old Tories of Sussex, and is said frequently to contain articles which are supplied by some of the London Tories still in office. The third paper started in Brighton, was the Brighton Chronicle, which, from various circumstances, was destined to be short-lived ; but on its decease another, called the Brighton Guardian, was started on broad liberal principles. It is a curious illustration of the saying, that the supply of some kinds of food creates an appetite for more, that until the Brighton Herald appeared, few persons thought that a local newspaper could succeed; and now that there are three papers in the town, the first established paper of the three has a much larger circulation than when it was without a competitor.
At Leeds the principal papers are the Mercury and the Intelligencer : the Mercury is a well-conducted print, of enormous dimensions, on the liberal side; and the Intelligencer, a similar production as to size, in the Tory interest. Both have, we believe, been invariably consistent in their politics, until within the last year, when the Catholic Question turned up to try the principles of both parties. The editor of the Intelligencer, retreating from the ground which he had so long occupied, and thinking perhaps that a more favourable opportunity of avowing his error, without prejudice to the owners of the property, could not be taken, hastened to express his conviction of the propriety of emancipation, and succeeded, as we are assured, in bringing over many of the Tories to his opinion. The proprietors of the Intelligencer, however, being less liberal than their editor, asserted their authority and dismissed him. The paper was then put into the hands of a genuine Tory; and it is now what it used to be, a church-and-state paper, but with much less power than it possessed, as some of its staunchest supporters have seceded, whether from interest, or from conviction. The Leeds Patriot is, we believe, what it purports to be, the advocate of the rights of the people. It has a fair circulation, and is well conducted.
The leading party papers at Bristol are the Journal on the Tory side, which is, we understand, the property of Mr. Gutch,
who holds, or very lately held, a large portion of the London Morning Journal, and the Mercury on the liberal side. The Bristol Gazette stands as it were between the two. The Bristol Journal has long been a profitable concern, from which it might be inferred, that the Bristolians are rather Tories than liberals. Such indeed is the generally-received impression; but there is much public spirit amongst some of the wealthy and well-informed inhabitants, and the success of the Mercury is a proof that all the Bristolians certainly are not opposed to the diffusion of correct opinions. Each of these papers contains from time to time well-written articles—those of the Mercury have on several occasions displayed much nerve and sound reasoning, but in all the Bristol papers there appears to be a want of taste and industry in the getting-up, which one has not to complain of at Liverpool. Where there is talent, improvement is easy-and a suggestion may not, perhaps, be thrown out in vain." At Exeter the decidedly liberal papers are, the Western Times, and Besley's Devonshire Chronicle.The former is of recent date, but it promises to become a great favourite in the West of England. It is well written, the selections are tastefully and carefully made, and it is neatly printed. The Alfred started as a reforming paper, but veered precipitately round, and has become intolerant in church matters, and opposed to reform in those of state. The Luminary has been consistently illiberal. There are two other weekly papers conducted in the way in which country papers were generally conducted twenty years ago. At Plymouth there are three papers, the Journal, the Herald, and the Telegraph. They appear to be got up with great care, and those which we have been in the habit of seeing the Journal and the Telegraph), have frequently contained very creditable comments on the conduct of the Portuguese, who were driven by the usurpation of Miguel to seek shelter in England. It was gratifying to witness in journals, one of which had long been accused (unjustly no doubt) of a leaning towards despotic principles, a vindication of the conduct of these unhappy men, when they were the objects of gross misrepresentation, and a sympathy for their sufferings alike honourable to the conductors of the journals, and to the town whose sentiments they were supposed to speak. In better times, and, we hope, under very different circumstances, these kind demonstrations of regard will be gratefully remembered. The West of England has not been behind the rest of the kingdom in exhibiting evidences of intellectual improvement. Within the last few years several new papers have appeared in different parts one of them
(the Falmouth Packet) deserves particularly to be noticed, and noticed with eulogy.
Our limits will not permit us to particularize more of the provincial English papers, although there are many which we could wish to name. Among these the Carlisle Journal and the Kent and Essex Mercury appear eminently deserving of attention. Many others occur to us, of which an opportunity may be afforded hereafter to speak in detail. The object has been by taking a few towns or districts, to give er-pede samples, by which the whole may be pretty correctly estimated. The chief thing worthy of notice in the provincial newspapers, is the skill and talent with which they are conducted, as compared with what was witnessed thirty years ago.
At that time scarcely one-third of the provincial papers had editors who were capable of writing what are called leading articles : they were chiefly, printers, many of whom had no knowledge of any other editorial duties, than the paste and scissars part of the process of putting a newspaper together, and the original articles were written by gentlemen connected with the London press, by whom they were sent down to the country. A few years ago it was by no means unusual to see advertisements in ihe London newspapers,
“ wanted an editor for a provincial newspaper, who understands the business of reporting, and can work at case,” thus combining the duties of an editor, reporter, and compositor; and we have heard of one instance in which a gentleman was offered 801. per annum to compile a paper, write an original leader, report the proceedings before the magistrates, compose two columns of the paper, and assist in the evening in serving in the shop of the proprietor, who was a stationer. We have also heard of the proprietor of a paper in the North of England, who was a printer and publican, dismissing his editor because that gentleman would not undertake to teach the children of his employer to read, and thus economise the expense of schooling—but these things are now past, or are of very rare occurrence. Two-thirds at least of the provincial newspapers are now in the hands of wealthy and well-educated persons, who are able to appreciate and willing to reward talent, and the consequence is, that the editors of country papers, generally speaking, are men of good literary attainments and liberal principles. With the mechanical improvement of the provincial press, mental improvement has more than kept pace; and we may read in the local prints of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, and other towns, as well-written and well-imagined productions as in the columns of the best of the London newspapers. The editors of country newspapers are not, however, 80 well paid as their more fortunate brethren in the metropolis. In London the salary of an editor varies from 4001. to 10001., or even more per annum. In the country few editors have more than 2501., and many not more than 1001, to 150l. per annum. It must be remembered, however, that if in the country the editor of a newspaper is not so well paid, neither has he so many demands
purse as an editor in London. In the metropolis the most prudent man, who is at the head of a newspaper, has some party connection to keep up-some dinners to give, and some sacrifices to make. In the country nothing of this kind is expected, and, with tolerable economy, a man with 2001, is quite as well off in the country as another in London with his 5001. or -6001.
per annum. The expenses of a
of a provincial newspaper have already been described as very light compared with those of a London weekly print. In the country, most of the proprietors of newspapers are at the same time general printers, and as their papers appear only once a week, the persons employed in the composition are able to devote a considerable portion of their time, to the ordinary, or job printing, which is a very lucrative branch of business to the employer; but the greatest advantage which the proprietor of a country newspaper enjoys, is being free from the combination law, which is so harassing to the proprietors of London newspapers. Among the compositors on London newspapers, there is an understanding equal in its present effects to the most severe law ever enacted by parliament, that no person who has not regularly served an apprenticeship of seven years to a printer, shall be allowed to work in a newspaper-office, and that no man shall be permitted to work at a smaller rate of wages than that fixed by the rules of the society. To keep these regulations in force, meetings called Chapels are regularly held, at which reports are made of persons who have suffered for refusing to work at less than the fixed rate of wages, or who have violated the rules of the society, by working under price. To the first mentioned, sums of money are allowed for their maintenance until they can find regular employment, and the latter are declared Rals, and an order is issued to all newspaper compositors not to work with these Rats on pain of being themselves declared Rats, and exposed to all the disgrace and inconvenience of exclusion from the society. Many attempts have been made by spirited individuals to put down this system, but from want of concurrence in the body of employers, they have filed. The injury inflicted upon the proprietor of a London newspaper by this system, may be easily conceived by the lot, that if it did not exist, the same