Exit the Daily Paper

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Exit the Daily Paper

W. T. Stead (The Review of Reviews, vol. IX, January, 1894, p. 3

Chicago, December 18th, 1893

With the first number of the new volume of THE REVIEW OF REVIEWS it is my pleasant duty to wish my readers all over the world a Happy New Year. Surveying the results of the last four years’ work from my present standpoint in the New World, I am filled with gratitude that so much has been accomplished in so short a time. Wherever I have gone I have found that the REVIEW is recognised as an almost indispensable agency for disseminating over the widest area the best thoughts of the wisest thinkers of our time. It has secured me a kindly welcome in every city that I have visited; everywhere I have been received, not as a stranger, but as a familiar friend, and so heartily have I been pressed to take a share in the discussion of social problems in American cities that I have had to postpone my return to England. As it has been in Canada and in Chicago, so I am assured it would be in every community that speaks the English tongue in the whole of this vast Continent, where my colleague and partner, Dr. Albert Shaw, has made THE REVIEW OF REVIEWS familiar as a household word from Winnipeg to Florida and from the State of Maine to San Francisco.

This deepened sense of the influence and range of THE REVIEW OF REVIEWS, this keener appreciation of the magnitude and importance of its functions as an international clearing-house of ideas for the English-speaking world has, to a large extent, reconciled me to the abandonment of the Daily Paper. When I submitted the scheme for starting that unique specimen of British journalism to the public, I intimated that I should be content whichever way the decision went. If the public wanted such a paper, they could have it. If they did not, they had only to say so, and I should drop the whole project. It is seldom that a journalist has such an opportunity of taking the public into his confidence, and of showing them exactly what he would like to do, and how he proposes to do it. Usually, the men of my profession have to spend many thousands, and embark upon a costly enterprise, before they can make the public understand what they propose to do. If, when that stage is arrived at, the public judgement is adverse, the money is lost. In my case, thanks to the opportunities afforded by this REVIEW, I was able to set out my whole conception without incurring any preliminary expenses or committing myself to any responsibilities whatever. I now know the result. The public does not want the Daily Paper, and that ends the matter.

Writing in November, I remarked that before Christmas I should have received my marching orders, and, whatever they were, I should be well content. Christmas is not quite here, but in one respect my marching orders are to hand. I have not to establish that Daily Paper. I am to go on editing, as before, THE REVIEW OF REVIEWS. What else I have to do is not yet clear. But I remember the wise Ali’s saying, which I have quoted so often: “Thy lot in life is seeking after thee; therefore, be thou at rest from seeking after it”—and I rest assured that the positive word of command will reach me in terms as precise and in accents as unmistakable as the negative order which bids me announce the exit of the Daily Paper.

I have to thank the thousands of friends and subscribers who showed their confidence in me and their desire to support my scheme by sending in their subscriptions. These have already been returned, as they do not reach the stipulated number of 100,000.

Once more I have to wish my readers all new year’s good greetings, and to express an earnest hope that whether in Great Britain at home or in Greater Britain beyond the seas, the REVIEW and its readers may become more and more helpful in promoting the “union of all who love in the service of all who suffer.”