Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cleveland's Old non-English Press

Polish Daily News, 1017 Fairfield
Wiadomosci Codzienne from 1914 to 1966
German Baptist Publication Society, 3804 Payne Avenue
Published der Sendbote (The Messenger) [1853 Cincinnati, 1866 to 1960 in Cleveland, Forest Park Illinois to 1971]
AMERICA Roumanian Daily News, 5703 Detroit Ave
Began in 1906, closed in Cleveland 1967

Cleveland's big dailies were Scripps Howard's Press, which had a circulation above 150,000 when the city had a population of 500,000, and was still annexing villages, and the suburbs most inconsequential. Other big English language dailies were the News, and the Republican, anti-Catholic, and anti-immigrant rag Leader, and the surviving Plain Dealer. These papers were about 12 pages at the beginning of the XXth century.

The papers in other languages were often 4 or 8 pages for dailies. There was a variety of frequencies: weekly, fortnightly, monthly. Some were general news, some devotional and sectarian, and some labor. Most of these are gone. Some survive as fraternal society organs. The circulation was between a very few thousand, to a few thousand more. The foreign born were as literate as the native born, and got news of the city, the old country, and the new. Political endorsements were made, and were consequential within the city.

As in many American cities, the first 'foreign' language periodicals were in German in the 1840s [Cincinnati in 1809]. Most of the nations of Eastern Europe were represented in Cleveland. The disappearance of a sense of shared community, bi-lingual writers, and the advance of new technologies have finally put to bed most of these publications.

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