Wisconsin: A Guide to the Badger State

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Newspapers and Radio

WISCONSIN'S journalism was born of schemes of land promotion, personal rivalries, and partisan politics. A century of growth was needed to develop the comparatively detached and sophisticated journalism of the 33 dailies and 320 country weeklies that today express and mold public opinion in Wisconsin. Political loyalties provided the State's papers with their most fervid causes, the cue for journalists always coming from Milwaukee or Madison, where the struggle between parties was sharpest and the alertness of the public added intensity to the strife. Control of a prominent newspaper was an advantage every Territorial politician could understand, affording him the opportunity of spreading propaganda in his own and his party's behalf.

Land, which created the first wealth in the new Territory, gave inspiration to frontier journalism. Enticing the immigrant with golden promises, the Green BayIntelligencer, a weekly, was founded by John V. Suydam and Albert G. Ellis in December 1833, the first newspaper in Wisconsin. The four pages of blurred type soon stopped praising the glories of the new land and plunged into partisan politics, siding with the Democrats and ardently championing James Duane Doty in his contest with Morgan L. Martin, in 1834, for an appointment as Michigan's Territorial Delegate to Congress. Out of this controversy grew Wisconsin's second newspaper, the Wisconsin Free Press, founded by Martin at Green Bay in 1834 to compete politically with the Intelligencer.

The discord of political life in Green Bay was not sufficient to focus the limelight on its papers for very long. With the establishment of the MilwaukeeAdvertiser, 1836, and the Wisconsin Enquirer in Madison, 1838, the center of Wisconsin's newspaper activity shifted to the two metropolitan areas, where it has since remained.

The MilwaukeeAdvertiser, like its Green Bay predecessor, originally concerned itself with land development and called attention to the new town growing at the mouth of the Milwaukee River. Soon, however, the Advertiser's interest in such projects as the Rock River Canal became linked with politics, and the paper became the mouthpiece of Byron Kilbourn, promoter of Milwaukee's West Side, who was engaged in a political feud with Solomon Juneau, promoter of Mil-

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