Kummerfeldt, Irvan J.
M.A. (Master of Arts)
Department of Journalism
For 116 years the Marengo Republican-News has fought an ongoing battle - a battle for its life. Through its existence the paper has enriched, entertained, encouraged and enraged the people of Marengo, Illinois. During different periods in its history the paper has earned the respect— or rath— of its readership. Plotting the fortunes of this newspaper is a roller-coaster ride through community journalism history. The Republican-News merits study not only for its longevity, but to seek an understanding of the diverse personalities that have been a part of Marengo newspapering. The paper was independently owned for 104 years and has been under group ownership twice. Six independent publishers and four newspaper group publishers have moved the newspaper in different directions, sought different goals. Better understanding the motives of these people is better understanding the special call to journalism. The purpose of this study is to reveal all aspects of the Republican- News' operation over the years. By establishing the paper's setting, reporting style, editorial stands, political stance, advertising policy and economic goals it is possible to judge the newspaper's affect on the community. Measuring these elements gives an indication of the paper's contributions to Marengo and northern Illinois. The History of the Marengo Republican-News: Analysis and Perspective looks at the publication by breaking its history into specific "eras." Each era is distinctive and the changes during the period are uncovered and examined closely. Thirteen chapters take the newspaper from its "beginning in 1867 up to 1983* The source for most of the research done on the Republican-News comes from the pages of the publication. Most of the newspaper's editions have been preserved on microfilm. Gathering additional background information was done through interviews with two publishers of the paper and a former printer employed by the paper. The study found each different publisher of the Republican-News had a unique goal for the newspaper. From the first publisher, John B. Babcock, to the present publisher, Sue Gash, who produces the paper for a newspaper group, the Republican-News has never abided by one journalistic philosophy. Each change in the paper's management has meant a new focus for the publication. Service has been the tying link through the Marengo Republican- News' years of publication. The paper has fought many battles, but it has always stood to benefit the people of Marengo. Defining the rich history of this newspaper stands to benefit the entire field of journalism.
Wilcox, Steven A., "The history of the Marengo Republican-News : perspective and analysis" (1983). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 5829.
x, 218 pages
Northern Illinois University
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