ERIC Number: ED233368
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Men, Not Money: E. W. Scripps and the Penny Newspapers of the Pacific Northwest.
E.W. Scripps's penny newspapers brought a new style of public service journalism to the Pacific Northwest's four largest cities--Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, and Portland--in the turbulent years of the Progressive movement from 1899 to 1912. Minimal investment, tight cost controls, and the idea that a small, condensed newspaper could be more popular than an advertising-laden large newspaper were the keys to the Scripps program. Coupled with these ideas was the concept of minority stock ownership for editors and business managers to provide an incentive through profit sharing. Scripps's editors waged a valiant fight to make his brand of public service journalism a success. They struggled for clean water supplies and food sanitation improvements, attacked streetcar monopolies and corrupt politicians, and risked court injunctions and libel suits. They produced profits for the Scripps concern on smaller circulation and less advertising than their larger competitors. But there were inherent conflicts between Scripps's ideal and the reality in print in the larger newspapers. Scripps's concepts demanded dedicated editors capable of great sacrifices, but the selection process produced men more interested in their stock profits. Expense controls resulted in distorted news coverage. On balance, an analysis shows not strong, local public service journalism, but franchise newspapers with a uniformity foreshadowing the coming of national newspapers. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Journalism History; Pacific Northwest; Progressive Era; Scripps (E W)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (66th, Corvallis, OR, August 6-9, 1983).