Here's a fun thread for journalism junkies, newspaper lovers and history buffs.

I had the help of one of my Twitter followers, @BalanceTheCheck, who collected the names of hundreds of newspapers (The Herald, The Star, The Enquirer, etc.) which he put into a spreadsheet... 1/
...Then we tried to categorize them by putting together titles that felt similar, like The Guardian and The Defender, which rely on a common image of protection.

Final step: write a short description of the categories, and add the newspaper names that exemplify it. 2/
From several hundred newspaper names — with many duplicates, of course — we wound up with 18 separate types. I'm going to bring them to you, with examples. But first I have to concede: categorization is an iffy art. There is no "right" way to do it, and decisions are arguable! 3/
I probably made some errors in reading the imagery in titles that go back centuries. So please, don't get offended if I misplayed one of your faves, or failed to mention your hometown paper. The vast majority of newspaper names are, I think, "covered" in our typology.

Ready? 4/
Category 1: Everything postal. Printers were often postmasters. Newspapers were delivered by mail. The associations among news, printing, postal service and delivery go back centuries.

Thus: The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Washington Post, The Post and Courier (SC). 5/
Category 2: Updatedness. Simplest name for a news product is to call it "news" or something very close to what news means: the latest.

Here belong all titles like The News, The Bulletin, The Columbus Dispatch, The Hartford Courant, or even the Ashland Daily Tidings in Oregon. 6/
Category 3. Chron logic. Time and divisions of time. Dayness and nightness.

Thus: endless titles that begin with the words Daily, Morning, or Evening. The Morning Call in Allentown, PA; The Evening Standard in the UK, The Day in New London CT, The Hour in Norwalk CT.

Category 4. At first I had this in Cat 3, but then I thought: no, that is wrong. As a title for many newspapers around the world, "The Times" is not a reference to chronology but to zeitgeist, as in "sign of the times." The Age in Melbourne, Australia would also belong here.

Cat 5. Papers are often named for key parts of the political system, including parties from which many of them sprang:

The Atlanta Constitution, the Detroit Free Press, the State in Columbia, SC, Arkansas Democrat, Springfield Republican, Arizona Republic, The Capital Times. 9/
Category 6: Another family of newspaper names draws on the activity of democratic politics, especially speech.

Thus: The Advocate, the Appeal, the Citizen, the Forum, the Leader, the Daily Progress, the Informer, the Reformer, the Atlanta Voice and (once) the Village Voice. 10/
Bin 7: Hear ye, hear ye. These (very common) newspaper titles suggest an advance warning, a public announcement that something big is about to happen. There's a martial feel to them.

The Herald, The Tribune, The Sentinel, The Advance. And: the Daily Clarion in Princeton, IN 11/
Category 8. Accounting, bookkeeping, record-keeping, diary-keeping. These are all key tributaries of modern journalism. They even gave journal-ism its name.

Thus: The Ledger. The Journal. The Chronicle. The Record, The Register. Throw in The Repository of Canton, Ohio.

Category 9 in my typology of newspaper names is forensics. As with an inquiry or inquest, characterized by fact-finding and actively looking into things.

Thus: The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The San Francisco Examiner.

Category 10: Commerce! As with The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, Louisiana. The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, TN. Or the many newspapers that have "enterprise" in their name, like the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, CA.

Category 11: Heavenly bodies and the solar system. The Baltimore Sun. The Kansas City Star.

Category 12: In French, it's Le Monde. Newspapers named for the world itself include The Boston Globe, the Omaha World-Herald. Fictional: the Daily Planet.

Bin 13: Newspapers named for the communication tech critical to their operation: The Press, the Telegraph, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. (From the internet era: The Cable, The Wire.)

Bin 14: Onlookers and overseers: The Observer, The Spectator, the Daily Mirror.

Category 15: Place as identity. The Missourian, The Coloradoan, the Oklahoman, the Tennessean, the Bakersfield Californian, the Virginian-Pilot.

Category 16: Cultural Memory. The Colonist, The Patriot-Ledger, The Pioneer, The Union, The Daily Territorial in Arizona.

Category 17: Images of light, especially light as a guide: The Akron Beacon-Journal, Point Reyes Light, The Fort Leavenworth Lamp, more recently Mountain State Spotlight.

Category 18: Protection, guardianship: The Guardian, the Monitor, the Chicago Defender, The Palladium.

Disclaimers and notes:

I did not list The Gazette because it just means newspaper. Like calling your bar The Bar.

Some names are just too singular: The Fresno Bee. The Council Bluffs Nonpareil. The Toledo Blade.

The Standard: I couldn't decide where that image came from. 19/
Disclaimers and notes, cont.

I tried a totem category, but could only come up with one member: The Brooklyn Eagle.

Thanks again to @BalanceTheCheck

I'm sure there will be corrections. I will leave this thread open so I can add to it.

I am reproaching myself for failing to mention what is probably the greatest newspaper name ever, at least in the U.S. The Youngstown Vindicator, which announced in the summer of 2019 that it was closing after 150 years of service.

Category 19: Newspapers named for justice.

[Sound of a bugle blowing] Assistance from readers has led me to add a new bin to my newspaper names typology:

Category 20: Newspapers named for animals.

The Sacramento Bee. (And other Bees.) The Berkshire Eagle (and other Eagles.) Even The Carlisle Mosquito. (It draws blood.)
Disclaimers and notes, cont... I should explain something about my purpose here. It's fun to recall wacky, interesting, one-of-a-kind newspaper names. In this thread I was working in an opposite direction. Organize the most common names by the deep grammar of their imagery.

After inquiries, we can clear some of the newspaper names that were hard to classify. Gazette and Picayune seem to both derive from the name of the coin that could be used to pay for them. Meanwhile, Argus and Mercury (in some uses but not San Jose) call on ancient mythology. 24/
With the help of readers we have Category 21 in my newspaper name typology: Fly the flag.

Examples: The Standard (many cases.) The Stars and Stripes (covers the US Military). The Scottish Banner (for ex-pats.) The Banner of Ulster (historical.) See:…

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More from @jayrosen_nyu

14 Oct
I am part of a group of 65+ political scientists and media scholars who today gave birth today to a new organization that responds to the civic emergency we are living through: The Election Coverage and Democracy Network.

These are our recommendations. 1/
This group came together very quickly. We held one Zoom call, found we were on the same page, and set to work. The goal was to take what we learned as scholars and researchers and give non-partisan guidance on best practice to the people who are reporting on this election.

I am proud of what we produced. The first recommendation is: "Deny a platform to anyone making unfounded claims."

Or this one: "When voters and election administrators are the protagonists of election coverage, the public wins." More here: 3/
Read 8 tweets
6 Oct
Some of you know I have been pushing an alternative approach to election coverage, the "citizens agenda" model. It is slowly starting to emerge at the local level (the national press is not interested.) Here is @WBEZ in Chicago putting it into practice.…
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22 Sep
I may be proven wrong, but I think the debates will be a fact-checking fail. Nothing like a real time check on Trump's firehose of falsehood will unfold. At best we'll see symbolic pushback on one or two lies, and his reaction will introduce more lies. 1/
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Read 11 tweets
16 Sep
Most of you know me as a press critic. But I have other lives as a professor at NYU. I teach grad students about innovation in journalism. I study the digital transformation of the press. And I run projects that agitate for change.

This thread is about those latter lives. 1/
I have a new post up at my blog, PressThink. "Notes on membership."… It explains what I have learned about membership and the search for a sustainable path in journalism after three years as director of the research project I founded, @membershippzzle. 2/
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23 Aug
Here's an example of local TV (@WNEP, an ABC affiliate in Scranton, PA) getting duped into covering a QAnon event as a "just folks" demonstration against human trafficking. These events happened all over the country today.…
Another local TV station (@WOODTV in Grand Rapids, MI, an NBC affiliate) duped into covering a QAnon event as "people gather to protest human trafficking."…

Maybe check if your local station did the same. Marches like these all over the country today.
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Read 13 tweets
17 Aug
Just published: my NEW post.

"From emergency to active threat: We have again switched settings in our coverage of Donald Trump."… Written in the style of an editor's note explaining a shift in coverage. I hope you will read it— and tell me what you think.
By moving on the Post Office, Trump escalated the crisis in journalism.

"It’s more than a civic emergency; it’s a national crisis. News coverage has to reflect that. We can’t just cover these events in bigger type. We have to take commensurate action."…
Take everything you were going to spend on the conventions and put it toward a threat modeling team. Then reorganize your campaign coverage around their findings.

One of the recommendations in my new post, which is styled as an editor's note to readers.…
Read 4 tweets

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