Cincinnati Enquirer Goes Retro for 175th Anniversary

With four pages, the Ohio paper launched on this date in 1841.

Remember when newspaper front pages were filled with long columns of fine print and generally more modest headline font sizes? That bygone style has been adopted today by the Cincinnati Enquirer in honor of the paper’s 175th anniversary.

This afternoon, Enquirer Media president Rick Green will throw out the first pitch at the Reds’ MLB home game against the Pirates. In a note to readers, written together with editor Peter Bhatia, he sounds an optimistic note:

Journalism, in many ways, has never been healthier. There are more sources for information than ever before. There have never been more “consumers” of content. There are specialized sites for every topic. You can find out where “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” originated with just a few key strokes. (Of course, Ohioans know it comes from the 1840 presidential campaign of [William Henry] Harrison and his vice president, John Tyler.)

Here’s the important thought: Even with the challenges to our industry over the past decade as the shift to digital has taken hold, journalism remains strong.

Our recent investigations of parks operations in Cincinnati and the Metropolitan Sewer District speak to the important work still being done by journalists. Such content remains the No. 1 priority for The Enquirer news operation as we place an even higher premium on deep, meaningful reporting and compelling storytelling. It is what Cincinnati deserves and expects of The Enquirer.

As for printed newspapers, it would be a mistake to write them off. There’s no question our long-term future is in the digital space, but newspapers remain popular among large numbers of readers and advertisers. It’s an audience that has yet to abandon us, and we refuse to abandon it even as we expand our reach and investment digitally.

There’s also an extended feature about the Enquirer’s first edition. The April 10, 1841 issue was just four pages:

Enquirer founders John and Charles Brough made no bones about the mission of their new paper.

On the front page of the first edition, they promised to “sustain the principles and policy of the great Democratic party.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of objective journalism, but it was common in 1841 for newspapers to align themselves with one political party or another. It was an ink and paper version of Fox News vs. MSNBC playing out in every major city.

On April 24, the paper will publish a special section for subscribers about changes made at the paper over the years. Other anniversary celebration elements include a look back at notable editorials.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
This Gannett Newspaper Just *Added* 6 Staffers

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