Newspaper Names: Read all About It!

I sport some newspaper genes. Many of my McArthur ancestors were journalists, my father spent his career producing the very paper on which your daily is printed, and, I, in my small way, write a regular column that appears on newsprint. I remember when there was a morning paper and an evening paper in most towns of any size, and when I first moved to Chicago there were four dailies: The Tribune, the Sun-Times and the Daily News. We’re down to two. (**Edited to mention that the fourth paper was the Chicago Daily Defender.)

But this isn’t going to be one of those nostalgic pieces full of millennial gloom and doom about the disappearance of the daily rags. (I am glad to see my hometown journal,  Le Nouvelliste is still around with all the lurid stories filed under “Faits Divers.”)

Those who know me well know I have a weird kick in my gallop about names. People names, pet names, place names, botanical names, brand names, grocery store names — I roll my tongue around a good name, then store it away in the rental storage unit my brain’s become.  A discovery of a great newspaper name among all those ho-hum Timeses and Posts and Gazettes and Suns and Newses makes me happy, well, forever!

Among the big market papers are some really good names. How about The Cleveland Plain Dealer? I have no idea about the paper’s politics, but it just sounds so solid. So plain. The there are the portmanteau names, where the second word dispenses some character to the blah first word: the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Should I ever become a newspaper magnate I’ll rename my paper to include the word Picayune.

In fact, there’s a paper in Texas that I might need to save up some apron money and buy: The Beeville Bee-Picayune. The Rochester, New York daily Democrat and Chronicle has some nice old-fashioned newspaper name heft. But hey, all these guys don’t make the cut, or would have to qualify, to get into the Best Newspaper Name Tournament.

I don’t have to drive but a couple of hours downstate to Bloomington-Normal,( home of the Redbirds!) to find a beaut: The Pantagraph.  Then there’s the Laramie Boomerang — what the heck? The Nome Nugget ? Perfection! I’d love to shake the hand, backward over the years, of the wag who named The Tombstone Epitaph.

Go pour yourself a big fat flute of champagne, stand up, and shake out the folds of your de la Renta gown. Drumroll. Ladies and gentlemen, the award for the best newspaper name in America goes to the Linn, MO Unterrified Democrat!

Do you have any nominations for next year’s ceremony? Or maybe you’re like Lou, who’s been making up names of his own while I’ve been writing this. He likes: The Rockford Files, the St. Paul Epistle, the Ledger Demoines, (yeah, it takes awhile and isn’t that great,) The Lincoln Log and the Aspen Tablet. Send them this way, and we’ll read all about them.



Filed under Collections, Free, HeeHee, History, How Cool is That?, Library Card

7 responses to “Newspaper Names: Read all About It!

  1. What a fun subject!! I DO love Lou’s lovely titles, and since I’m only on First Cup, the only thing I can come up with right now is the Little Rock Paper-Scissors.

    moire non, and have a nice Sunday!


  2. Alex

    It took me about two seconds, and I like the Ledger Demoines.

    For actual newspapers, I like the San Jose Mercury News. Which, of course, after a trip across the Pacific, might lead us to the Hilo Vulcan News (not actual).

    So what was the fourth Chicago daily?

  3. Alex — I like the San Jose Mercury News too — had I remembered it I would have included it. LOVE the Hilo Vulcan-News. I think the Defender was a daily back then — not sure that it still is.

    Rachel: caffeinate, Girlfriend!

  4. Lou asked me not to include it, but I am anyway: The Moosejaw Monitor.

  5. sparrowgrass

    Oh, I started reading this and wondered if you had found the UNTERRIFIED Democrat! Not unirritated! If you are a Democrat, you are undoubted irritated!

    I love the Timberjay, out of Tower MN. A timberjay is a blue jay sorta bird that is also known as a ‘camp robber’ because they are very bold.

  6. Oh, Debra, that must have been one heck of a Freudian slip! Ooooooops. I’ll fix it. The Tower Timberjay=lovely.

  7. Kim Shook

    Just exactly the kind of chatter I enjoy! Wordsmithing is impressive enough, but to be able to come up with good names, titles – anything short – is just amazing to me. I am a dolt at this, so have nothing to offer, but wish this post would go on and on!

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