The Chicago Tribune: Its First Hundred Years - Vol. 1

The Chicago Tribune: Its First Hundred Years - Vol. 1

The Chicago Tribune: Its First Hundred Years - Vol. 1

The Chicago Tribune: Its First Hundred Years - Vol. 1

Excerpt

In undertaking to write the history of a newspaper the compiler quickly comes to realize that its annals embody in fact the history of its times, as recorded and seen through the newspaper's pages. Such a survey reveals the paper's attitude toward public affairs, national and local, its emphasis on this and that news development, supplemented by its editorial comment and criticism.

A newspaper which through the passage of years has become rooted as an institution, developed a clearly defined character, and so grown to warrant a historical review, is much like an individual; in fact, it is a composite of the individuals who direct it. Thus it seems to be properly the subject matter for a biographer or for his cousin, the historian.

The Chicago Tribune was founded on June 10, 1847. The approach of its hundredth year of life furnishes an appropriate occasion to trace and write the paper's annals. In a sense, the paper has written its own history at the rate of 365 volumes a year, and this review must be a condensation and selection -- a sort of rewrite man's job.

The Tribune's tradition of independence is borne out by a fair and unbiased survey of its years. This spirit of independence, joined to strong convictions, was inherent in its editors, who moreover found that it was what the people wanted, whether or not they agreed with the ideas of any particular editor or editorial. The paper from the outset was virile, and through triumphs and defeats alike (it suffered many of the latter) it remained a vital factor in the life of the city and re-

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