Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

50 Years of Your Story and Ours

Magazine article National Catholic Reporter

50 Years of Your Story and Ours

Article excerpt

You hold in your hands a publication that took 50 years to create.

The first National Catholic Reporter rolled off the presses Oct. 28. 1964, and this anniversary year is meant to be a celebration of that, but this publication isn't meant to tell the NCR story. If this booklet tells a history, it isn't the history of a newspaper. it is the history of the American Catholic church over the last 50 years. And that is the way we want it.

From the beginning--born in the third year of the Second Vatican Council and bearing the hallmarks of that era--NCR never sought to be a beacon or center of attention. Rather, NCR has sought to be a searchlight, or better yet a flashlight, for pilgrims on the way. Therefore, it is, dear reader, as much your story as ours.


We will be the first to acknowledge that the history we present here is incomplete. Arthur Jones, in his book National Catholic Reporter at Fifty: The Story of the Pioneering Paper and Its Editors, says that over our 50 years, we have filled more than 60,000 pages with more than 3 million words. In this publication, we've had to condense each volume year into a single page. Consequently, we had to make choices of what events and people to include and what to exclude. We've done our best not to slight anyone or any event, but early on, we decided that what we wanted to do was to capture the flavor of each year, to give not just a list of dates, but a feel for the times and the direction of the country the church and the world.

To help put readers in the mood, our layout editor, Toni-Ann Ortiz, has recreated as best as she can the actual look of the paper from each particular era, matching the font styles, type sizes, design elements--such as lines and boxes--and colors. That itself became a history lesson in typography, newspaper design and even publishing technology. …

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