Newspapers and Magazines

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Entry Category: Newspapers and Magazines

African American Perspectives Northeast Arkansas

The quarterly African American Perspectives Northeast Arkansas magazine was established in Jonesboro (Craighead County) in 2007 by Diversified Publishing Company, LLC. Founding members of the publishing group included Drs. Lonnie R. Williams, George Grant, and Glen Jones, who were administrators at Arkansas State University (ASU), and community leaders, Everett Fair and Emma Agnew. Agnew served as editor for the first five years until Williams assumed a co-editing role during the last two years of publication, 2011–2013. Four seasonal issues were published each year, and content consisted of feature articles from various contributing writers as well as advertising. Standing columns included an African-American business directory, church directory, and calendar of events. According to its vision statement, Perspectives was created to uplift …

Arkansas Banner

In 1843, Democrats in Little Rock (Pulaski County) sought a new newspaper, as the Arkansas State Gazette (1836–1850) had shifted its affiliation from Democratic to Whig after an ownership change. The Arkansas Banner was founded by Archibald Yell in 1843 to be the voice of the Democrats, under the publishing name of the Democratic Central Committee of the State of Arkansas. Solon Borland worked as editor with Elbert Hartwell English, who was also his associate at their joint law firm. Borland had writing experience from working at several newspapers in Memphis, Tennessee. The Banner soon changed publisher names to Borland & Farley, with Borland still working as editor. Borland quickly began writing pointed articles about the Gazette editor, Benjamin John …

Arkansas Business Publishing Group

Arkansas Business, a weekly newspaper and website based in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is the leading source of business news and information in the state. Started in the spring of 1984, the newspaper initially struggled before becoming a publishing powerhouse. In the twenty-first century, the business has dozens of employees in its downtown namesake River Market District office building. Arkansas Business was the brainchild of twenty-three-year-old Dan Owens, a Warren (Bradley County) native who was then the editor of the Jacksonville Daily News. Owens had created a business plan featuring a rate card, business articles, advertising contracts, and logo/letterhead/business cards. He was prepared to publish his first issue on a shoestring budget when a journalism colleague and friend, Arkansas Gazette …

Arkansas Catholic

The Arkansas Catholic is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock. It began publishing in 1911 as the Southern Guardian at the request of Bishop John B. Morris with Monsignor John Michael Lucey as editor. Bishop Morris intended the newspaper to be the “official organ” of the Catholic Diocese for the 22,000 Roman Catholics then living in the state at the time. The newspaper began as a weekly eight-page broadside newspaper with an annual subscription rate of $1.50. It was renamed the Guardian when “Southern” was dropped from the title in 1915. In 1986, the newspaper became the Arkansas Catholic. The paper has been associated with the Catholic News Service since 1923. Editorship changed several times over the …

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state’s largest newspaper, is based in Little Rock (Pulaski County), with a separate northwest Arkansas edition. After the Arkansas Democrat bought the assets of the Arkansas Gazette in October 1991, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette was born. It is the only statewide newspaper, offering home delivery in all parts of Arkansas. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has its roots in the Reconstruction era. A newspaper first called The Liberal became The Journal and then The Chronicle. Finally, it became The Evening Star, having passed through several owners and editors by 1875. On April 11, 1878, Colonel J. N. Smithee acquired the newspaper and renamed it the Arkansas Democrat. Smithee, who had served in the Confederate army, immediately launched an attack …

Arkansas Faith

Arkansas Faith was a short-lived newsletter published by the White Citizens’ Council of Arkansas in 1955 and 1956. Subscribers to Arkansas Faith paid a three-dollar membership fee to join the White Citizens’ Council of Arkansas and received the newsletter as part of their membership. The newsletter followed the larger Citizens’ Council of Mississippi’s format. Such publications were copied hundreds of times around the country. Although each chapter had a distinct name and local flair, they all followed a similar format that included articles featuring Christian nationalism, anti-Semitic tropes, opinion pieces from a white supremacist perspective, and pieces on anti-communism, segregation, and politics. Arkansas Faith was edited by Curtis (Curt) Copeland, a transient segregationist newspaperman who co-founded the White Citizens’ Council …

Arkansas Freeman

The Arkansas Freeman, which began publication on August 21, 1869, was the first newspaper in Arkansas printed by an African American and focusing upon the black community. It was in publication for less than one year, having become symptomatic of the divisions within the Republican Party, particularly where African Americans were involved. The idea to found a black press was approved on June 20, 1869, by a committee of African Americans, led by local advocate Jerome Lewis, at Wesley Chapel Methodist Church on the campus of Philander Smith College; a dinner was later held at the City Hall of Little Rock (Pulaski County) to raise funds to establish a newspaper. The committee included several ministers and community leaders who felt …

Arkansas Gazette

The Arkansas Gazette, Arkansas’s first newspaper, was established in 1819, seventeen years before Arkansas became a state. Its editorial stance for law and order during the desegregation of Central High School in 1957 earned the newspaper two Pulitzer Prizes—the first time in history one newspaper won two Pulitzers in the same year. Known for its liberal editorial pages in a conservative Southern state, the Gazette closed on October 18, 1991, after a bitter newspaper war with its cross-town rival, the Arkansas Democrat. William E. Woodruff published the first edition of the Arkansas Gazette on November 20, 1819, introducing it as Republican (the name that evolved into the modern Democratic Party) in politics. Woodruff, a New Yorker who had completed a …

Arkansas State Press

The weekly Arkansas State Press newspaper was founded in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1941 by civil rights pioneers Lucious Christopher Bates and Daisy Gatson Bates. Modeled on the Chicago Defender and other Northern, African American publications of the era—such as The Crisis, a magazine of the National Association of Colored People (NAACP)—the State Press was primarily concerned with advocacy journalism. Articles and editorials about civil rights often ran on the front page. Throughout its existence, the State Press was the largest statewide African-American newspaper in Arkansas. More significantly, its militant stance in favor of civil rights was unique among publications produced in Arkansas. Although in later years, Daisy Bates would be recognized as co-publisher of the paper and, in …

Arkansas Times

The Arkansas Times is a widely read free periodical known for its liberal political stance as well as being an early adopter of news blogging in the state. The Times has achieved acclaim for its work on such stories as the Arkansas prison blood scandal and the case of the West Memphis Three. In 2013, the paper began crowdsourcing funding for in-depth investigative pieces. In the fall of 1974, a group of five people led by Alan Leveritt set out to create an alternative media outlet for Little Rock (Pulaski County) that would offer investigative reporting and stories on local culture. Leveritt had gotten his start in the media business during his college days in the early 1970s at Little Rock …

Arkansas Times and Advocate

aka: Arkansas Advocate
The Arkansas Advocate was the second successful newspaper in Arkansas. It was created in direct opposition to the state’s oldest and longest-running paper, the Arkansas Gazette, in 1830 by Charles Pierre Bertrand of Little Rock (Pulaski County). While Bertrand originally intended his paper to avoid party loyalties, the Advocate (later the Arkansas Times and Advocate) favored the politics of whoever its editor was at the time. The newspaper ceased operations in 1844. A year after Robert Crittenden mortally wounded Henry Wharton Conway on October 29, 1827, Crittenden and eight unnamed financial backers attempted to start a newspaper opposed to William E. Woodruff’s Arkansas Gazette. In the summer of 1828, Crittenden, acting for himself and as legal counsel for the seven …

Arkansas Traveller [Ku Klux Klan Newspaper]

The Arkansas Traveller was a weekly Ku Klux Klan (KKK) newspaper published in El Dorado (Union County) and Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1923 and 1924. It was one of many Klan newspapers of the 1920s, joining such national newspapers as the Searchlight, Imperial Night-Hawk, Klan Kourier, and Fiery Cross. Many states and some cities had Klan newspapers similar to the Arkansas Traveller. The newspaper reported on activities of local Klan chapters and pushed the national Klan agenda against immigration, Catholicism, immorality, and racial equality. The newspaper was first published around April 1923 in El Dorado by Elmer C. Croom and James D. Baynham, both of whom held jobs with the El Dorado Daily Tribune. Croom worked as the general …

Arkansas True Democrat

The True Democrat (1852–1857) was first printed on September 7, 1852, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) by owners and publishers Richard Henry Johnson and Reuben S. Yerkes, with Johnson serving as editor. Its earlier title, the Arkansas Democratic Banner (1851–1852), was changed to the True Democrat for political reasons. The new publishers described the reason for the name change as “renewed assurances of fidelity to the noble principles of our party…we unfurl to our patrons and the public—‘THE TRUE DEMOCRAT.’” The True Democrat and its successors—Arkansas True Democrat (1857–1862) and True Democrat (1862–1863)—were published as weeklies. Daily editions were published for a short time, including the Daily True Democrat (1861) and the True Democrat Bulletin (1862–?), but these editions ended …

Arkansaw Traveler [Newspaper]

In 1882, writer Opie Percival Read and his brother-in-law, Philo Dayton Benham, started the Arkansaw Traveler newspaper in Little Rock (Pulaski County). They published the paper every Saturday, with Read working as editor and Benham managing the business. Read chose to name the paper after the Arkansas Traveler folktale, with the paper masthead including an image of a traveler, sheet music, a squatter, and the squatter’s hut. According to the folktale, which dates back to at least 1840, a lost traveler in rural Arkansas asks a squatter for directions. The squatter is unhelpful until the traveler is able to play the second half of the tune the squatter had begun on his fiddle. Learning the second part of the song …

Batesville Daily Guard

The Batesville Daily Guard has been published continuously since 1877, the only Batesville (Independence County) newspaper that has survived from about two dozen that were started in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Originally a weekly publication, it later became an award-winning daily newspaper. The founder of the Guard, Confederate Civil War veteran Franklin Desha Denton, was born in Batesville in 1841. In 1868, Frank Denton married Martha Adelia “Mattie” Lewis. According to the Goodspeed history of the area, Denton was attending Center College at Danville, Kentucky, when the Civil War broke out, and he came home to enlist in the Confederate army. He was twice wounded, captured by the Union army, and exchanged to fight again. After …

Baxter Bulletin

The Baxter Bulletin newspaper was established in 1901 in Mountain Home (Baxter County) by J. G. “Uncle Jess” Copeland, who had previously worked for both the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Over the years, it became a popular weekly turned six-day-a-week publication with a circulation of around 11,000. Copeland sold the Bulletin in October 1903 to Joe Doehring and Will M. McNair. He then moved to Cotter (Baxter County) and established the Cotter Courier. Doehring was serving as both editor and publisher when the newspaper was sold to Tom Shiras in 1905. The next year, Enness Shiras joined his brother as co-owner of the paper. They owned and operated the paper for approximately forty years. In …

Brinkley Argus

On May 5, 1883, J. C. McKetham and brothers B. F. Kelley and Robert J. Kelley established the Brinkley Argus newspaper in Brinkley (Monroe County) and went on to serve as its proprietors and editors. Robert J. Kelley soon sold his interest to McKetham, and William Blount Folsom purchased the newspaper in 1891. Folsom, serving as editor, published the paper with his wife, Harriette M. Doty Folsom, who was the paper’s business manager. Published weekly, the four-to-eight-page newspaper advertised itself as having the largest circulation of any paper in Monroe County in the 1890s. The Brinkley Argus focused on local news in Brinkley and Monroe County. The paper regularly published church service schedules and Bible lessons from local churches. The …

Carlisle Independent

The Carlisle Independent, based in Carlisle (Lonoke County), began in 1905 under Thomas P. Young. Young worked as publisher and editor, issuing the paper once a week on Thursdays. For the first few years, the Independent was non-political, printing news about Carlisle and the surrounding communities. In 1907, Ernest Ellis took over the Independent, changing it to a Democratic paper. Jewel Lester Matthews Sr. took over in 1914 and ran the Independent for two years before turning it over to Clifford R. Griffin. Griffin also ran the paper for two years and then sold it to Edward M. Williams in 1918. Williams stayed with the Independent for several years, using his extensive newspaper experience to promote the welfare of Carlisle. …

Cleveland County Herald

In 1888, George H. Tisdale started the Cleveland County Herald at Rison (Cleveland County). It was a Democratic paper published on Thursdays. Sallie Irene Robinson worked briefly as editor for Tisdale and, by 1893, had purchased the paper. The Herald is the longest-running newspaper in Cleveland County. Robinson learned the newspaper business from her uncle, Leon Roussan, who ran the Osceola Times (1870–) in Osceola (Mississippi County). Robinson moved to Rison in 1892 or 1893 and quickly took over the Herald. In 1895, she married lawyer William Joseph (Billie) Stanfield, becoming Sallie Robinson-Stanfield. She is the first recorded woman in Arkansas to hyphenate her last name after marriage. Together, they had five children, and Robinson-Stanfield taught them all the newspaper …

Constitutional Union

The Constitutional Union was a short-lived newspaper published in 1860–1861 in Des Arc (Prairie County) to rival the secessionist viewpoints espoused by the local Des Arc Citizen with the Civil War on the horizon. The Des Arc Citizen (1854–186?) was the first newspaper in Prairie County, established in September 1854 by John C. Morrill. Published weekly, issues were four pages long and focused on state politics, the Methodist Episcopal Church, agriculture, development projects for railroads and river levees, and news from nearby Memphis, Tennessee. In 1861, a new twice-weekly edition, the Des Arc Semi-Weekly Citizen, was published simultaneously. The new edition was published only briefly, and later that same year the newspaper returned to a singular weekly edition called the …

Courier-Index (Marianna)

The Courier-Index, a newspaper based in Marianna (Lee County), is the oldest continuous business operation in Lee County. The newspaper was the result of the consolidation of two other newspapers, the Marianna Index and the Lee County Courier. Luther M. Benham published the first issue of the Marianna Index, the older of the two papers, in partnership with J. M. Thomas, who was the editor, although the exact date of the first publication is unclear. Volume numbers on the Courier-Index and an article in a book the city produced for its centennial in 1970 both indicate that the Index began publishing in 1873. However, an article in the April 17, 1841, edition of the Courier-Index states that the paper debuted …

Daily Citizen (Searcy)

The Daily Citizen is a newspaper serving Searcy (White County) and the greater White County area. The paper traces its origins to 1854, when it was first printed as the Des Arc Citizen, and it claims to be the oldest county newspaper in Arkansas. John J. Morrill originally founded the paper, which began weekly publication on September 5, 1854, in Des Arc (Prairie County). Morrill’s Des Arc Citizen held fiercely Democratic leanings and gave a voice to the anti-abolitionist views held by most Prairie County Democrats just before the Civil War. Citizen opinions showed deep concern about potential Republican electoral success, warning that creeping Northern encroachment into the issue of slavery would only end in secession from the Union, if …