Entry Category: Print Journalism - Starting with M

Magie, Futha Cone

Futha Cone Magie helped pioneer community journalism in Arkansas during a period when most newspapers were family owned. He also furthered the interest of tourism in the state through his service on the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Commission. Cone Magie was born on October 12, 1924, in England (Lonoke County) to Albert Hugh Magie and Rose Beauchamp Magie. His father was an army barber in World War I, and both his parents operated a grocery store on Main Street in England as well as farmed. He was the third of five sons. Magie’s newspaper career began at age eight as a carrier for the Arkansas Gazette. He also milked cows and delivered bread to earn money. Magie was editor of …

Malvern Daily Record

In 1916, Julian Heard Beerstecher and his wife, Kate Brice Beerstecher, moved to Malvern (Hot Spring County) and founded the Malvern Daily Record. It began as a four-page paper and eventually grew to an average of seven pages. The Beerstechers published the paper every day except Sundays. The Record was politically Democratic and focused on local community news, but it also reported some national and international events. Before moving to Malvern, Julian Beerstecher worked at the Arkansas Gazette and then as printing clerk in the state auditor’s office. Beerstecher was an active Democrat and prominent in Malvern civic life. While publishing the Record, he also worked as the Malvern city clerk and later served as president of the Arkansas Press …

Mathis, Deborah Myers

Deborah Mathis is an acclaimed journalist and author who has been a reporter and columnist for newspapers and a television reporter and anchor. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2003. Deborah Myers was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on August 24, 1953. Her father, Lloyd H. Myers, was a businessman and Baptist minister, while her mother, Rachel A. Helms Myers, was an educator. She has several brothers and sisters. Myers attended Gibbs Elementary, Rightsell Elementary, and Westside Junior High, graduating from Little Rock Central High in 1971. She got her start in journalism at the Central school newspaper as the first female and first African-American editor. Rather than leave home to go to college, …

McConico, J. H.

aka: John Hamilton McConico
John Hamilton McConico was an African American educator, newspaper editor and publisher, businessman, national grand auditor for the Mosaic Templars of America, and a civil rights pioneer. His business and civil rights leadership included membership in the National Negro Business League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Arkansas Negro Democratic Association. J. H. McConico was born on December 25, 1877, in Livingston, Alabama, to Jessie McConico, who was a preacher, and Mattie McConico. His sister, Fannie, was four years his senior. After McConico completed the available public school courses, his family sent him to Agricultural and Mechanical College in Normal, Alabama. In 1898, McConico graduated from the department of printing with a literary emphasis. After …

McCord, Robert S.

Robert S. McCord was a journalist with a crusading instinct whose work as a photographer, reporter, editor, and newspaper owner left a significant mark on public policy and government integrity in the state. He was principally responsible for the passage in 1967 of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which guaranteed people’s access to the deliberations and acts of their governing bodies—from cities, towns, counties, and schools to state executive agencies. It was one of the strongest such laws in the nation. The legislation passed both houses of the Arkansas General Assembly without a dissent and was signed into law by Governor Winthrop Rockefeller, who claimed it as his first achievement as governor. With Phillip M. Carroll, his college …

McDonald, Thomas Newton (Tom)

Photographer Thomas Newton McDonald, a resident of Jonesboro (Craighead County), accumulated many honors in his lifetime, including the United Nations award for service to humanity, Gerard Bakker Award for teaching, and National Award for Service from both the Arkansas Professional Photographers and Southwestern Professional Photographers. His primary work focused on portrait photography, but he also took scenic and artistic photographs. In 1996, McDonald wrote The Business of Portrait Photography: A Professional’s Guide to Marketing and Managing a Successful Studio, with Profiles of 30 Top Portrait Photographers. The book, published by Amphoto Books of New York, was later published in a second edition and translated into Mandarin for publication in China. Born in Lake City (Craighead County) on July 2, 1933, …

Meyer, Ronald Edward (Ron)

Ron Meyer was a graphic artist, journalist, satirist, newspaperman, and political cartoonist from Little Rock (Pulaski County). In the early 1960s, Meyer went to work for Sam Hodges at the Benton Courier, first in advertising and later as general manager. During his tenure, Meyer helped the paper achieve both state and nationwide recognition. He also worked as a freelance artist for several Little Rock firms before opening his own advertising agency. Ronald Edward Meyer was born on October 18, 1938, in Little Rock to Velma Irene Maghar Meyer and Raymond Edward Meyer, who was originally from Hazen (Prairie County). He had one brother, Gerald, and two sisters: Patricia and Betty. Meyer’s parents divorced when he was ten years old, leaving …

Mitchell, James

James Mitchell was president and editor-in-chief of the Arkansas Democrat from the time he purchased the paper with W. D. Blocher in 1878 until shortly before his death in 1902. As editor, Mitchell made the paper a powerful statewide force backing Democratic policies and candidates. At the same time, he argued forcefully, both in the paper and through frequent public speeches, for economic diversification in the state, for educational improvement, for equal pay and improved opportunities for women, and for other progressive measures. James Mitchell was born on May 8, 1832, at Cane Hill (Washington County) to James Mitchell, a farmer, and Mary Ann Webber. He was the third of ten children whose parents had moved their family from Indiana …

Mitchell, Jerry

Jerry Mitchell was a longtime legal, courtroom, and investigative reporter. His dogged reporting led to the reopening of a number of important civil rights cases and, in doing so, helped bring to justice a number of individuals many years after they had committed their crimes. Jerry Mitchell was born on February 23, 1959, in Springfield, Missouri, to Jerry and Jane Mitchell. During his early years, his father served as a U.S. Navy pilot, causing the family to move several times. The family lived in California, first in San Diego and then San Francisco, before settling in Texarkana, Texas. Mitchell’s interest in journalism had begun in high school, where he served as editor of the school newspaper, and he was a …

Morgan, Tom Perkins

Tom Perkins Morgan’s gravestone in the Rogers Cemetery says simply, “Writer, Humorist, Philosopher.” To many in Rogers (Benton County), he was best known as a successful local businessman who operated a newsstand and bookstore downtown. But Morgan was a nationally known writer whose work appeared in major publications such as Life and the Saturday Evening Post. Tom P. Morgan was born on December 1, 1864, in East Lyme, Connecticut, to Joseph P. Morgan and Mary A. Perkins Morgan. He moved with his parents and his only sibling, Harry, to Garnett, Kansas, when he was ten. He grew up there, spending much of his spare time in the local newspaper office. In his youth, Morgan was something of an adventurer. He …

Moseley, Ray

Ray Moseley, who was born and reared in eastern Texas, arrived in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1956 to write for the Arkansas Gazette and, a year later, led the newspaper’s coverage of the historic crisis at Little Rock Central High School, when the governor used the militia to block court-ordered desegregation of the city’s schools. For over thirty years, he worked for newspapers and press services on four continents covering the great tumults of the times—wars, revolutions, political intrigues, and royal tragedies—and wrote four books about war and its legacy. A series of articles in 1981 about the future of sub-Saharan Africa was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize. In 2022, Moseley returned to Little Rock to live. Ray Neal …

Mountain Signal

In 1875, William A. J. Beauchamp moved to Rich Mountain (Polk County) from Bonham, Texas, and had a printing press brought to the mountain, where he later published, with the help of his daughters, the Mountain Signal, Polk County’s first newspaper. The first issue was published in 1877, and the paper ran for seven years, printing new editions only when sufficient news justified an issue. Interestingly, the Mountain Signal, which had been out of print under that name for over 100 years, was revived as a magazine published intermittently from 1989 to 2001, named in honor of Polk County’s first newspaper. William Beauchamp left Rich Mountain in 1884 after printing the story of a local murder, as the people named …