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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the major city-wide newspaper in St. Louis, Missourimarker. Although written to serve Greater St. Louis, the Post-Dispatch is one of the largest newspapers in the Midwestern United States, and is available and read as far west as Kansas City, Missourimarker as far south as Memphis, Tennesseemarker and as far north as Springfield, Illinoismarker.

The current owner is Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowamarker which purchased Pulitzer, Inc. in 2005 in a cash deal valued at $1.46 billion.

History

Early years

In 1878, Joseph Pulitzer purchased the St. Louis Post and the St. Louis Dispatch, merged the two papers to be called the St. Louis Post and Dispatch, which was shortened to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

At one time, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had the second-largest Washington D.C.marker news bureau of any newspaper in the Midwestern United States.

The newspaper was founded by the 1878 merger of the St. Louis Evening Post and St. Louis Dispatch by owner and editor Joseph Pulitzer. The resulting paper was called the St. Louis Post and Dispatch during its first year of operation; its first edition, 4020 copies of four pages each, appeared on December 12, 1878.

On February 11, 1901, the paper's introduced a front page feature called the "Weatherbird", a cartoon bird accompanying the daily weather forecast.

On April 10, 1907, Pulitzer wrote what is now referred to as the paper's platform:

"I know that my retirement will make no difference in its cardinal principles, that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty."

After his retirement, generations of Pulitzers guided the newspaper, a series officially ending when great-grandson Joseph Pulitzer IV left the company in 1995.

The old Post-Dispatch was characterized by a liberal editorial page and columnists, including Marquis Childs. The editorial page was noted also for political cartoonists known for strong liberal and civil libertarian views as well as for outstanding draftsmanship, Daniel Fitzpatrick and Bill Mauldin.

The Post-Dispatch was one of the first daily newspapers to print the comics in color, on the back page of the features section, styled the "Everyday Magazine."

Several months prior to the anniversary edition, the newspaper published a 63rd anniversary tribute to "Our Own Oddities," a lighthearted feature that ran from 1940 to 1990.

During the presidency of Harry Truman, the paper was one of his most outspoken critics. It associated him with the Pendergast machine in Kansas Citymarker, and constantly attacked his integrity.

21st century

On January 13, 2004, the Post-Dispatch published a 125th anniversary edition, which included some highlights of the paper's 125 years:

  • The story of Charles Lindbergh, whose flight across the Atlantic was a success despite his being denied financial or written support from the Post-Dispatch.
  • A Pulitzer Prize-winning campaign to clean up smoke pollution in St. Louis. For a time in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the city was considered to have the filthiest air in America.
  • The sports coverage, including ten "St. Louis baseball Cardinals" championships, an NBA title by the St. Louis Hawks in 1958, and the 2000 Super Bowl victory of the St. Louis Rams.
  • Coverage of the city's "cultural icons" including Kate Chopin, Tennessee Williams, Chuck Berry, and Miles Davis.


On January 31, 2005, Michael Pulitzer announced the sale of Pulitzer, Inc. and all its assets, including the Post-Dispatch and a small share of the St. Louis Cardinals, to Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowamarker, for $1.46 billion. He announced that no family members would serve on the board of the merged company.

The Post-Dispatch underwent a major redesigning in September 2005. The redesigning brought a new layout, new fonts, and localized editions for St. Charles County and Illinoismarker. Many readers have criticized the new format for devoting a larger percentage of page space to advertisements and relying too much on wire services and dispatches from other newspapers.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said March 12, 2007 it eliminated 31 jobs mostly in its circulation, classified phone rooms, production, purchasing, telephone operations and marketing departments.

On March 23, 2009 the paper converted to a compact style every day from the previous broadsheet Sunday through Friday and tabloid on Saturday.

Kurt Greenbaum Controversy:From November 16th onwards, the Post-Dispatch was embroiled in controversy by refusing to fire or comment upon the breach of online posting privacy agreements broken by the actions of the Post's Social Media Director, Kurt Greenbaum. Acting illegally, Mr. Greenbaum broke the privacy agreement and used the Post's IP logs to contact the employer of a commentator who had posted on his blog. This breach of privacy resulted in the loss of the commentator's employment. As of November 20th, 2009, the Post has not posted an official response to the breach of privacy.

Prices

The Post-Dispatch prices are: $1.00 Daily, $1.50 Sunday.

Current and past contributors

  • Harper Barnes, film and music critic, 1965-1970, 1974-1997.
  • Bob Broeg, Hall of Fame baseball writer, 1946-2004.
  • Jacob Burck, political cartoonist, 1937-1938.
  • Cole Charles Campbell, editor, 1996-2000.
  • Robert Cohen, photographer, 1999-
  • Richard Dudman, national affairs correspondent and Washington bureau chief, 1950 -1981
  • Rick Hummel Hall of Fame baseball writer, 1971-
  • Bill McClellan, columnist, 1971-
  • Robert Minor, political cartoonist, 1907-1911.
  • Joe Pollack, film and drama critic, 1972-1995.
  • Elaine Viets, columnist, 1975-2000.
  • Joe Williams, film critic, 1996-


Further reading

  • Jim McWilliams, Mark Twain in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1874-1891 (Troy, NY: Whitston Publishing Company, 1997).
  • Daniel W. Pfaff, Joseph Pulitzer II and the Post-Dispatch: A Newspaperman's Life (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991).
  • Julian S. Rammelkamp, Pulitzer's Post-Dispatch, 1878-1883 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967).
  • Florence Rebekah Beatty Brown, The Negro as Portrayed by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1920-1950 (c. 1951).
  • Charles G. Ross and Carlos F. Hurd, The Story of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis: Pulitzer Publishing, 1944).
  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch as Appraised by Ten Distinguished Americans (St. Louis, 1926).
  • Orrick Johns, Time of Our Lives: The Story of My Father and Myself, (New York, 1937). George Sibley Johns, father of the author, was editor of the Post-Dispatch for many years, and was the last of Joseph Pulitzer's "Fighting Editors".


Footnotes

  1. St. Louis Post-Dispatch Platform from the newspaper's website.
  2. "St. Louis Post Dispatch to cut 31 Jobs," St. Louis Business Journal, March 12, 2007.
  3. Why do liberals hate pussy? Reason. November 22, 2009.


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