One of the joys (and perils) of work in the Swarthmorean office is our access to bound copies of the Swarthmorean and its predecessor, going back more than 100 years, and endlessly tempting to amateurs of Swarthmore and newspaper history. Here’s an editorial we found from April 30, 1915, when a year’s subscription was $2.00. The proposition was simple: a newspaper needs its community to “share the burden of this enterprise”; to support its own news source.
The premise still stands: we need you, readers, subscribers, and advertisers, and we need more of you. Recommend the Swarthmorean to neighbors. Give a subscription to your college kid or an emigrated friend. Shop with our advertisers, and look to us for your own classified and display advertising needs.
And the offer still stands, though the decimal places may have shifted: if we can get to 2,500 subscribers, we’ll knock the price of a subscription to your “home paper” down by 25%.
Editorial: April 30, 1915
On May 1, 1914, the new managers of the “Swarthmore News” entered upon their duties, with faith in the future success of their home paper and interested enough to make an effort to support such an important community enterprise as the local paper…
Now we ask the community to help us to increase the circulation so we can reduce the subscription price to $1.50 per year.
If each subscriber were to secure one new subscriber it would be possible to do this. Surely if we are using in this work, valuable time which could be converted into more money in other business, it is not too much to ask each member of the community to share the burden of this enterprise to the extent of subscribing for a friend, or trying to secure one new subscriber, so that on our next anniversary we may celebrate a reduction in the subscription price of the paper. The work of getting out this little sheet is just as great as if the circulation were forty times as large.
The support of a local paper in a town of this size, and class, will always be a problem; co-operation on the part of each and every member of the community is needed in order to make it a success.
We thank all those who have supported us so loyally in our effort to preserve the paper to the community, and trust that the coming year may see the size of the paper as well as the circulation materially enlarged, and that its influence may be a power for good.
To quote from our editorial of a year ago, “It is our aim to keep up the standard of the paper, as well as to put it upon a paying basis. If a mistake occurs — as it undoubtedly will at some time or other — kindly remember that it was not intentional and bring it to our notice at once. We will greatly appreciate any suggestions that will help to make this paper what it ought to be.”
We want it to be an uplift, and fairly representative of our intellectual community; this necessitates co-operation; we are ever ready to serve as our motto expresses it, “In the Interest of All” that is for community betterment.
— Julia R. Hazard