Modern newspaper production, whether- in the metropolis, the big cities, or the larger provincial towns, is carried on in an atmosphere of intense competition. One new feature of present-day competition is that newspaper interests tend more and more to overlap. Not so many years ago, newspapers had their own definite areas of circulation.
Local rivalries existed, but they were limited in their extent. Every newspaper knew just what it had to expect on its own ground. But the circumstances have changed completely. Of one thing only can a newspaper be certain-that it may expect competition from dozen different sources.
In addition to their own local competitors, state newspapers have now to face the pressure of the “wide area” dailies, papers published in large centres, and able, by the use of train, motor-van, bus, and sometimes aeroplane transport, to circulate regularly and effectively over an area which may be represented by a circle centred on their bases of a diameter of anything upto 100 miles.
These papers may not carry much of the local news of the whole area, but they frequently “stunt” with local specials and pictures, and cannot be ignored.
In competition with both these classes of daily newspapers are the city dailies, including the picture papers, which are showing an increasing tendency to localize when the occasion warrants it.
The newspapers with a national circulation nearly always make a specialty of local matter when they have stories upon which to base them and the picture papers are constantly serving suitable areas with local pages of pictures.
Then come the popular Sunday papers, often with local specials and nearly always with big competiti6n prizes to offer. All this means intensive competition, from the effects of which even the state weeklies do not wholly escape.