The Times in the War, 1914-1918
TO the biggest news story of modern times the American press as a whole reacted in a manner highly creditable. It would almost be safe to say that there was not a single newspaper in the country which was not a better paper, from the technical point of view, at the end of the war than at its beginning. That is to say, its editors knew more about what news was, how to get it, and how to present it to their readers. Also, the great majority responded honorably to the secondary but sometimes highly important duty of interpreting and clarifying the news by editorial comment. Most of the influential papers of the country understood at the outset at least the general causes of the war, and were able to assess rightly the responsibility for its outbreak.
In general, the service of The Times during the war consisted in its doing what the other papers, or most of the other respectable papers, did, but doing it better. The merit of its war news is sufficiently well known. It was thanks chiefly to the excellence and the universal scope of its news service that the circulation of the paper, which was about 250,000 at the beginning of the war, had risen to some 390,000 at its close. But it should not be forgotten that The Times in editorial analysis of the causes of the war was amazingly accurate from the very outset,