The Ethnic Press in the United States: A Historical Analysis and Handbook

By Sally M. Miller | Go to book overview
Save to active project

17
The Norwegian-American Press

ARLOW W. ANDERSEN

Journalists are at times subjects of admiration and trust. At other times they may carry the onus of suspicion and disdain. Since they deal mainly with affairs of the moment--the news, as it is called--they become identified with practical and immediate concerns. Many newspaper folk, gifted with literary talent and with more than adequate technical equipment, have succeeded in presenting the news with keen perception and effectiveness. Others have garbled the human record, whether by design or ignorance, and have pursued their special interests too aggressively. Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher of the nineteenth century, scorned this kind of news reporting and editorializing when he relegated journalism to "the lowest depth to which people can sink before God." On the other hand, he respected an honest historical approach. To repeat his sagacious words, "Life must be lived forwards, but it can only be understood backwards."1

Norwegian immigrants found America to be a land of newspapers. They were aware that Norway had already introduced freedom of the press, but the sheer magnitude of the American institution impressed them and inspired them to establish their own weekly journals, published in their own language. Having imbibed of the democratic spirit in the home country, they cherished the opportunity for expression in the new land. The resulting Norwegian-American press supplied a political medium as well as a cultural tie for the 800,000 who eventually emigrated from Norway. Politics and other public affairs came to be reflected in the news reports. Suggestions for reform commonly appeared with other commentary in the editorial columns. Hopes for the success of the great democratic experiment in the New World never faded, but the road to glory was rough. In compensation, Norwegian editors and their immigrant readers usually found comfort in the knowledge that, in the long run, their own future as well as that of America would be brighter.

Norwegian-American newspaper publishers and editors, many of them graduates of the University of Christiania (now Oslo) and of Norway's technical schools, generally enjoyed the respect and trust of their readers. They were well educated in the Western tradition. Some of them established long-lasting weekly

-261-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Ethnic Press in the United States: A Historical Analysis and Handbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 442

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?