The Press: How Big Is Too Big?

At its best, the British press is the Western world's most literary. At its worst, it is the most salacious. Either way, come brainstorm or bosom, it is the biggest, with seven London dailies boasting circulations of more than 1,000,000 (as against only one, the New York Daily News, in the U.S.). Indeed, as Britons themselves have recently come to realize, their press may be growing to death.

Amid much public outcry, two British press giants last week were battling for control of a third. The prospective prize: Odhams Press Ltd., which owns 82...

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