The Improbable Life of the Arkansas Democrat [electronic resource] : An Oral History / edited by Jerry McConnell
- Baltimore, Maryland : Project Muse, 2015 (Baltimore, Md. : Project MUSE, 2015)
Fayetteville [Arkansas] : University of Arkansas Press, 2016. (Baltimore, Md. : Project MUSE, 2015)
- Physical Description:
- 1 online resource (1 PDF (x, 245 pages) :) illustrations
- Additional Creators:
- McConnell, Jerry and Project Muse
- Restrictions on Access:
- License restrictions may limit access.
- The cast -- 1. A friendly beginning -- 2. Not your average man -- 3. Engel's newsroom -- 4. Dead papers don't float -- 5. Democrat coups -- 6. The Hussman method -- 7. A plan of attack -- 8. The trial -- 9. The Starr effect -- 10. No net for Gannett -- 11. Uncharted territory.
- The Improbable Life of the Arkansas Democrat collects over one hundred interviews with employees of the Democrat, including editors, reporters, feature writers, cartoonists, circulation managers, business managers, salespeople, pressroom managers, typesetters, and others, from the 1930s through the early 1990s, when the Democrat took over the Arkansas Gazette after an aggressive newspaper war. This new addition to Arkansas journalism history provides vivid details about what it was like to work at the old Democrat. August Engel, who led the paper with focused devotion for forty-two years, was famous for his thrift, allowing no air conditioning in the newsroom, and paying sub-par wages. In spite of these conditions, there are tales here of dedicated journalism professionals endeavoring to do good work. Readers who remember the final acrimony between the two papers may be surprised to learn that for many years the Democrat and the Gazette owners operated under a tacit agreement of civility. The papers didn't hire each other's staff, for example, and when a fire broke out in the Gazette pressroom, Democrat management offered the use of its press. Staffers recall that when the Gazette struggled with an advertising boycott and reduced circulation during the Little Rock Central High crisis because of its perceived progressive editorial stance, which infuriated many Arkansans, the Democrat did less than it might have to capitalize. The eventual newspaper war saw the end of any semblance of civility when the Democrat hired an aggressive and infamous managing editor named John Robert Starr who began giving away classified ads, printing more news, and changing publication from evening to morning. Through these firsthand stories of those who lived it, The Improbable Life of the Arkansas Democrat tells the story of how the number-two paper became the unlikely number one, forever changing not only Arkansas journalism but also Arkansas history.
- Includes index.
Issued as part of book collections on Project MUSE.
View MARC record | catkey: 38344554