The Press: Freedom's Penalty

Does a newspaper publisher have the right to move into a town, drive an existing paper out of business, and establish a local newspaper monopoly? Last week a U.S. district court gave its answer: yes.

The case involved the Harte-Hanks Newspaper Group (eight newspapers in Texas), which in 1954 bought the daily Banner in Greenville (pop. 20,000), a northeast Texas county seat boasting the "blackest soil, whitest people." Harte-Hanks increased the size of the paper and its advertising staff, but could not show a profit. Meantime, the moneymaking, family-owned Greenville Herald, faced with this tougher competition, fell into the red. In 1956...

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