News & Politics

Newspapers Endangered, Public Doesn’t Care


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February 21, 1963, Vol. VIII, No. 18

News Rally Turnout Tiny

With hopes for the end of the newspaper strike at a new low, a planned mass citizen rally on Monday afternoon to bring pressure to bear on both parties for a settlement turned out to be a vest-pocket affair. The Citizens Newspaper Committee, headed by two public relations men, scheduled the demonstration for Broadway and Murray Street, just opposite City Hall. About 100 people showed up.

Comedian Orson Bean exhorted those present to “Protest, Protest, Protest! Speak up! Get involved!” He urged that pressure be put on Governor Rockefeller, Mayor Wagner, ITU president Bertram Powers, and the Publishers’ Association. A representative of the blind newsdealers told of the difficulties facing his group, and a Lower East Side businessman reported that the strike was hurting business.

Feelings ran strong among the onlookers. One elderly woman carried a home-made sign with four American flags attached. She told The Voice she was there because she missed the newspapers. “I’m a Yankee,” she said proudly, “and I’m for education. Newspapers are very educational.”

Another lady said she worked in the area and had just stopped by to look but that she was glad somebody was protesting. “I can’t stand those new dailies they’re putting out.” A grandmotherly-appearing woman broke in, “I could literally murder the printers, she said. “Why blame the printers?” the first lady replied mildly.

Andrew Weil, one of the founders of the Citizens Newspaper Committee, appeared dismayed at the turnout. “If the cost of milk was being raised by one cent, they’d be here.”

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]


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