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Editorial policies and mottos
In addition to the descriptive information included in their mastheads, many newspapers in the collection included statements, or quotations, which reflected their editorial policies and philosophies. Many of these were strong statements regarding a free press. Some showed the paper's support of a particular political point of view, even going so far as to offer specific platforms. Others made clear their dedication to the community or organization they felt they represented. Keep in mind that many of the items in this collection are over 40 years old and that over that same time newspapers may have changed these statements. There is an example of such a change below and it's quite likely that other mastheads may be quite different.
Some of these mottos and quotations are seen in the masthead examples posted on this site. An additional cross section of common and unusual items are collected on this page. Their sequence reflects the arrangement of the collection from the west coast to the east. It's noteworthy that the phenomenon is much more prevalent in the west and the south, and this selection reflects that, as well.
The Carmel (CA) Spectator quoted an earlier
"From the first newspaper published in California--Vol. 1, No. 1, The Californian, Monterey, August 15, 1846, we take our creed. 'This Press shall be free and independent: unawed by power and untrammeled by party. The use of its columns shall be denied to none who have suggestions to make promotive of the Public Weal.'"
The Humboldt Standard (Eureka, CA):
"Unswerving support of the principles of democracy in federal, state and community government.
Preservation and advancement of the opportunities for pursuit of private enterprise in California and the Redwood Empire;
Preservation of the principles of free speech and a free press."
Combined with the Humboldt Times to form the Times Standard in 1968.
The Belleville (KS) Telescope:
"Telescope Platform for 1957."
This lists a series of goals the newspaper was promoting, including the establishment of a Community Chest; development of a long-range plan for the town; improving the county's medical services; acquiring property for a park; developing local industry; improving highway safety; and supporting agricultural programs.
Quotes Lewis Carroll,
" 'The time has come,' the walrus said,
'to talk of many things,
'Of shoes and ships and sealing wax
'And cabbages and kings.' "
The Texas Observer
"We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit."
The Brownsville (TX)
"This newspaper is dedicated to furnishing information to our readers so that they can better promote and preserve their own freedom and encourage others to see its blessing. For only when man understands freedom and is free to control himself and all he produces can he develop to his utmost capabilities.
We believe that all men are equally endowed by their Creator and not by a government, with the right to take moral action to preserve their life and property and secure more freedom and keep it for themselves and others. Freedom is self-control, no more, no less.
To discharge this responsibility; free men, to the best of their ability, must understand and apply to daily living the great moral guide expressed in the Coveting Commandment."
The Texas Catholic (Diocese of Dallas):
"The faithful should be advised of the necessity of reading and circulating the Catholic press if they are to make Christian evaluations of all that happens." quoted from the Decree on the Instruments of Social Communication, Chapter II.
The El Paso (TX)
Times Spanish language
"The El Paso Times is an Independent Democratic newspaper. Traditionally, it is Democratic, but it will support that which it believes to be right and oppose that which it believes to be wrong regardless of political party."
"Seeking Community Betterment Since 1919"
Florida Baptist Witness (Florida Baptist Convention):
"'Ye shall be My Witnesses.' Acts 1:8"
Diario Las Americas (Miami, FL):
"For Liberty, Culture and Hemispheric Solidarity : Por la Libertad, La Cultura y la Solidaridad Hemisferica"
A newspaper is an instrument of public trust, privately owned but solemnly dedicated to the common weal; the crystal mirror of our daily trials and triumphs; the editorial obligation to be as just with men and measures as human imperfection will permit; a crusading force which accepts with courage the challenge of controversy, greeting hostile ideas with hospitality, understanding well that public debate is a factor in public progress; the sacred pledge to promulgate the civic, cultural and spiritual well being; the covenant to study; investigate, analyze so as to place reason and logic ahead of emotionalism and hysteria; the duty to interpret constitutional 'Freedom of the Press' as meaning freedom of information to all, a torch to the many, not the flame for the few; and above all the will to be sympathetic, understanding and sincere."
The Mountain Echo (Yellville, AK):
"This is a Marion County weekly newspaper; not a 'scandal sheet'. We are not interested in 'gossip' reports of defamatory nature. We do not solicite advertisment for any article of habit-forming nature. We will not knowingly misrepresent issues of public concern and any errors called to our attention will be corrected."
"The Republican has a greater purpose in life than merely to publish the news."--Col. W. B. Rogers.
St. Louis (MO)
"THE POST-DISPATCH 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."
Joseph Pulitzer, April 10, 1907
Nashville (TN) Banner:
"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate to prefer the latter." Thomas Jefferson
Ceased publication 1998.
The North Woods Call (Charlevoix, MI):
"An admittedly biased newspaper. Dedicated to the proposition that there is only one side to any issue involving natural resources...NATURE'S."
The Mantorville (MN) Express:
"Let us be inflexible, and fortune will at last change in our favour." --The Vicar of Wakefield
Ceased publication 1968?
The Merrill (WI) Daily Herald This paper was
incorporated into the Wausau Daily Record-Herald, now the Wausau
"Whatever influence a newspaper may exert in moulding public opinion should never be abused."
Brownsville (PA) Telegraph:
"If you work in a town, in Heaven's name, work for it. If you live in a town live for it, give for it. Help advance your neighborhood. Respect the great power that protects you, that surrounds you with the advantages of advanced civilization, and that makes it possible for you to achieve results. Speak well of it. Stand by it. Stand for its civic and commercial supremacy. If you must obstruct or decry those who strive to help, why--quit the town. But as long as you are a part of a locality, do not belittle it. If you do, you are loosening the tendrills that hold you to the community and with the first high wind that comes along you will be uprooted and blown away."--Charles Dawes
Superseded by the Telegraph in 1969. That title appears to have ceased publication in the late 1980's.
Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, NY):
This newspaper switched quotes along the way. The earlier example in the collection quotes Byron, "Without or with offence to friends or foes I sketch your world exactly as it goes." More recently the paper has used the 1st amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Manchester (NH) Union Leader:
"There is Nothing so Powerful as Truth" (Daniel Webster);
"Where the Spirit of the Lord Is, There Is Liberty." II Cor 3:17
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Last updated: 19 August 2013