Friday, November 2, 2012

Names for newspapers

I can think of just a handful of newspapers that have started during my lifetime - USA Today being the most prominent among them. But there have been many newspapers that have ceased publication during that time and others that have merged. At one time, of course, even relatively small towns had two or more newspapers, and the competition was fierce.

For the most part, the names of these many newspapers did not show much originality. Most of them were called either the Times, the Journal, the Gazette, the Press, the Tribune, the Chronicle, the Bulletin, the Herald, the Sun, the Gazette, the News, the Courier or the Star. After mergers, the names were usually combined. The surviving newspaper in the town where I live is the Times-Gazette. The newspaper I worked on for more than 40 years is the News Journal, one of numerous News Journals across the United States.

Yet a few early publishers managed to come up with unique names for their publications. Here are a few of them:

The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
The Free Press (Detroit)
The Daily Breeze (Torrance, Calif.)
The Truth (Elkhart, Ind.)
The Repository (Canton, Ohio)
The Blade (Toledo)
The Vindicator (Youngstown)
The Town Talk (Alexandria, La.)
The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

Ohio seems to have more than its share of newspapers with original names. Some of the names - notably the Plain Dealer, Free Press, Vindicator and Truth - suggest a philosophy behind the mere publication of the daily news.

Long may these and other newspapers prosper.

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