News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Wayside Furniture

Greater Akron Chamber

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
People


A salute to the fallen flags of newspapers
Thirty years ago this week, the Cleveland Press folded. It wasn't the first good, old paper to go, nor the last.
by WKSU's PAUL GASTON


Commentator
Paul Gaston
 
One of the grand old papers folded 30 years ago this week: The Cleveland Press.
Courtesy of Cleveland State archives
Download (WKSU Only)

The good news these days is that many major newspapers have turned it around. Circulation is up, ad revenues have increased, and the expansion into digital information is beginning to show a profit.

Many. But not all.

One of the institutions that brought New Orleans through the aftermath of Katrina – the Times Picayune – is heading for three days a week. The Philadelphia newspapers just sold for a tenth the price of six years ago.

And WKSU commentator Paul Gaston can still hear the echo of proud papers that have been silent much longer.

Gaston: tribute to the "fallen flags" of newpapering

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:42)


There was a poetry, a cadence about them--the flags of major newspapers whose presses have long been silent.

The flag.

That’s the journalists’ name, by the way, for the newspaper’s name printed, usually, at the top of the front page.

In New York, in the early nineteen sixties, I once bought all seven major Sunday papers, spread them out in my hotel room, and marveled at what awaited me. I’ll mention four. The rhythmic World-Telegram and Sun--three names in one. The Herald-Tribune, which competed with the Times in seriousness of purpose and breadth of international coverage. The Journal-American, Hearst’s full-size paper, and the New York Daily Mirror, the Hearst tabloid.

The one hundred fourteen day newspaper strike that lasted from nineteen sixty-two until nineteen sixty-three was the death knell for the Mirror and a premonition for the others. By nineteen sixty-six all those I have mentioned were gone.

Of course, far more was lost than resonant newspaper names. Newsgathering competition was at its fiercest then. Every day in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, or Washington, a reporter could jump start a career by beating the competition. The stress must have been considerable for the reporters seeking a scoop, but the rewards for the readers were terrific. It wasn’t just the news columns that competed. Editorial writers developed distinctive voices. Columnists became prominent personalities.

They wrote for their readers, and they wrote for one another. Even designers got in on the competition. When the Herald-Tribune showed off its fresh and deservedly influential approach to display type and page make-up, the handwriting was already on the wall for that paper, but newspaper design would never be the same.

 The story of fallen flags is a national story, of course. Chicagoans once read Chicago’s American--that possessive apostrophe making a claim to the paper’s deep roots in the Loop. Washingtonians read the Star in the afternoon, New Orleanians read the States-Item, Dallasites read the Times-Herald.

In most cities, afternoon papers like these were the first to go. As lifestyles changed, there seemed to be less and less of an inclination to sit on the porch with the afternoon paper. And as traffic around the big cities became more congested, just getting an afternoon paper delivered on time became a headache. In a few cities, like St. Louis, the afternoon paper prevailed, but it did so by switching to the morning and going head to head with its competition. So good-bye, Globe Democrat, one of the most Republican of newspapers.

I won’t bore you by reciting more such names. There are a lot out there--including the Cleveland Press – which folded 30 years ago this Saturday -- and the Cleveland News.

But I have to mention my favorite fallen flag, the one created by the sixties merger of the Chattanooga News and the Chattanooga Free Press. For nearly 30 years, in addition to the morning Chattanooga Times, the city was served by--I'm not kidding--the News-Free Press. 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Nature and nourishment down by the river at the Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf
I love QUICKBITES! I look forward to it every week. One question: is it possible to include a link to the restaurant or store that you profile? Thanks!

Canton's proposed Timken-McKinley school merger is drawing spirited debate
From a sports opinion Varsity would have a lot more talent to choose from So Im sure varsity sports would improve.Also Timkens name would be much more published...

Canton school board will decide whether to merge high schools
I really hope we can save those jobs, usually we try to cut budgets but the demand is still the same. Then we look bad a year or two after the descion is made. ...

FirstEnergy wants PUCO guarantees on nuclear and coal prices
Would just comment that the plant has admitted the following (as reporting in the Akron Beacon Journal): "The utility has said it may have difficulty keeping t...

Mozzarella's easy when you have a way with curd
Hello, Where can I get such a heater that you have? Does it hold temperature that you set? What brand and model is it? Thank you in advance!! :)

Pluto: A healthy LeBron James is the key for the rocky Cavs
It's time to back our Cleveland professional teams through thick and thin. I've seen management, players and coaches come and go and it hasn't changed a thing. ...

Legal marijuana group offers new details about ballot issue
Americans feel as if they should have the right to decide on their own if and when it is or is not a responsible time to have a drink or smoke a joint. The fac...

The PUCO is assessing what happened in Akron's AT&T outage
not the first time for that steam pipe break... happened in the late 70's when the office was being converted to electronic switch ESS.. was a big mess then but...

The freeze of green-energy standards hurts Ohio wind and solar industries
What do we do at night and when the wind isn't blowing? Where does the power come from to back-up these renewable sources?

Gov. Kasich may still face budget battles with Ohio lawmakers
Governor Kasich continues to disappoint many of us who voted for him when he was elected Governor four years ago. It is way past time for charter schools to b...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University