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The Newspaper Press in Kentucky

The Newspaper Press in Kentucky

Foreword by Barry Bingham
Copyright Date: 1976
Edition: 1
Pages: 136
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  • Book Info
    The Newspaper Press in Kentucky
    Book Description:

    The story of Kentucky's newspapers is the story of our political, economic, and social life. It is the story of issues and answers, the story of life and death. Newspapers, by their very nature, become sources of historical studies. They recount day by day or week by week the happenings, joyous or sorrowful, humorous or sad, enlightening or dull, experienced by those who live in the communities where they are printed or circulated.

    In 1787, five years before statehood, John Bradford established Kentucky's first newspaper in Lexington. TheKentucky Gazettewas first in a long line of newspapers which, over the years, have served the people of the state.The Newspaper Press in Kentucky, by revered Kentucky journalist Herndon J. Evans, illuminates the early days of Kentucky newspapers and their influence.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5064-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Barry Bingham Sr.

    Herndon Evans spent more than half a century as a Kentucky newspaperman. In his long career he did many journalistic jobs, including the editorship of a small-town weekly and of a city daily.

    Always his love was for the written word. He used writing as a tool for communicating with readers of all kinds, for promoting good causes, for stirring the hearts of Kentuckians to the joy and pride and responsibility he himself felt for his native state.

    To such a man, it was important to polish his writing to a clear sheen of meaning and tone. It is sad,...

  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xiv)

    The story of Kentucky’s newspapers is the story of our political, economic, and social life. It is the story of issues and answers, the story of life and death. Newspapers, by their very nature, become sources of historical studies. They recount day by day or week by week the happenings, joyous or sorrowful, humorous or sad, enlightening or dull, experienced by those who live in the communities where they are printed and circulated. Yellowed clippings between the pages of the family Bible or tucked away in other books, where grandchildren someday will find them and ponder their contents, attest to...

    (pp. 1-8)

    John Bradford, a surveyor, had come to Kentucky in 1785 to make his home. Although not a printer by trade, the Farquier County, Virginia, native decided that he could learn that trade and courageously offered his services. With all the assurance in the world he accepted the challenge and announced that his new venture would be called theKentucke Gazette.Assembling the equipment and materials needed for the publication of a newspaper was no easy task. An antiquated press was located in Philadelphia, along with some type and other printing supplies. The press, with several cases of type and other...

    (pp. 9-15)

    Editors of Kentucky’s early newspapers which followed theGazetteaccepted fully the responsibility of presenting the news and views of their times. News-gathering in the early days was more difficult than it is today, when even the smallest papers have several persons on the staff. There were no telephones, teletypewriters, or means of speedy transportation by which news articles today are obtained. Editors had to rely upon legwork to seek out items for their papers.

    Many of the early newspapers in Kentucky were established for purely political reasons. A leader in the federal government or a candidate for governor of...

    (pp. 16-25)

    When the Kentucky Press Association (KPA), organized in 1869, held its midsummer meeting in Paducah, July 25-26, 1931, Urey Woodson was the chief speaker. He took as his subject “The Good Old Days” in Kentucky journalism, and his remarks later were printed and distributed to the newspapers. This rare pamphlet, found by thePaducah Sun-Democrat’s Joe LaGore, reveals much of the state’s early newspaper history.

    Woodson’s style of delivery was tangy and humorous. He recalled, in opening, that he had been named as president of the KPA in 1890 and had known many of the editors of that era who...

    (pp. 26-41)

    Until the time of the merger of theLouisville Journal,theCourier,and theLouisville Democrat,first with Phineas Kent and later with John H. Harney as editors, Lexington dominated the newspaper field in Kentucky. Things would change when Henry Watterson came into the picture in 1868. Thereafter and until today, theCourier-Journalhas dominated the Kentucky newspaper field.

    Lexington’sKentucky Reporter,established in 1807, controlled the field until it was consolidated with theKentucky Observer,then owned by Edwin Bryant and N.L. Finnell. TheReporter,in contrast to its predecessor, theGazette,carried columns of purely local news. This...

  10. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
    (pp. 42-69)

    In the early years of what might be termed the Henry Watterson period of Kentucky journalism, many editors indulged in “fine writing.” Editors and writers in Kentucky, and elsewhere for that matter, appeared to vie with one another to see who could use the most flowery language in presenting the news to their readers. Simple, direct language did not suffice. Writers apparently felt themselves to be poets or literary stylists who must appeal to the poetic natures of their readers. For example, one did not just die; one “passed into the great beyond” or answered the “final call to return...

    (pp. 70-89)

    Even before Kentucky became a state in 1792 the question of slavery had been a heated topic in many gatherings. The dispute waxed in succeeding years. Most of the opposition to slavery, however, was centered in the North. To many opponents slavery was a moral issue. One of the big issues of the times was whether slave owners were to be compensated for loss of their property. Some people in the North, and a few even in the South, felt that no payments should be made because ownership was an immoral act and deserved no compensation. A side issue that...

    (pp. 90-100)

    A movement had been under way for several years prior to the Greeley-Grant presidential campaign for the formation of an association of newspapers in Kentucky. Similar groups had been formed in other states and it was natural that Kentucky, with many of the country’s leading editors and publishers recognizing the need, should form its own organization. There was a need for newspapers to stand together and put an end to the schisms that developed before and during the Civil War and continued after the conflict came to an end. J. Stoddard Johnston, editor of theFrankfort Yeoman,and S. R....

    (pp. 101-116)

    Community newspapers often are described as “country weeklies” because they are published in small towns and many of them are oriented toward the farm populace. Often these papers carry columns of correspondence from rural areas, giving writers free rein to relate news of their little areas in their own words, even though their expressions do not always conform to the rules of journalism. Many of these rural correspondents have attained fleeting fame through reprinting of their articles in the daily press.

    Weeklies supply news for the “little men,” it was pointed out in a KPA meeting. Weekly newspapers were admonished...

  15. Epilogue
    (pp. 117-119)

    After more than half a century of newspapering, practically all of it in the editorial field, I have an irresistible urge to do a little editorializing in bringing this story of Kentucky newspapers to a close. Almost eight years of retirement from the editorial chair of theLexington Heraldhave not deadened the urge to “have my say.”

    Is the newspaper of today, once dominant and all-powerful in the field of communication, now just another division of what we refer to as the “media”? Television and radio have entered the communication field in a big way in the last generation....