Harte-Hanks, the Growing
The changes in operation and production
have left unchanged the principles on which the newspaper was
founded, that news be reported honestly and fairly, regardless
of the circumstances, that the newspaper go beyond the routein
business of news and take on the added duties of editorial leadership,
that it be a ttimes a critic, a cajoler, an investigator. Under
Harte-Hanks, each newspaper maintains its editorial autonomy,
expresses its own views.
Frank Grimes, who joined The Reporter in
1914, became the first full-time editor, a post he assumed in
1919. Mrs. Hanks and a friend, Leltie Faucett, coxed Hans into
allowing them to start a "society column" in 1918.
Mrs. Faucett stayed on to become a society editor whose career
was subject for a Life Magazine study. The editorial staff
has been managed through the years by Max Bentley, Wendell Redichek,
Hal Sayles, Ed. N. Wishcamper, Dick Tarpley and Richard Seaman.
General Managers have been D.F. McCarty and Bill Martin.
The influence of The Reporter-News
has been strengthened by the continuity of its management and
its ownership. Members of the Hanks-Shelton family have directed
operations of the paper since 1906, a rare record of tenure for
American journalism. The influence has also been strengthened
by the newspaper's attitude toward its role in journalism.
In reporting the news, the paper strives for impartiality,
an ideal summarized in a line from Lord Byron's epic poem, "Don
Juan," printed on each front page, "Without or with
offense to friends or foes we sketch your world exactly as it
In its editorial leadership,
the newspaper has adhered to the notion that all the towns it
serves must progress, else all will be to some degree retarded.
Rarely has the newspaper been content to be a bystander in area
affairs. It has initiated many causes it finds to be worthy,
putting its resources and prestige behind efforts which West
Texas towns have undertaken.
At times the paper has led out
on new causes which public opinion could not, or would not, follow
so that instant success has been denied.
Usually, however, those undertakings
which it has supported have, sooner or later, gained support.
As editor Frank Grimes once put it: "A newspaper that will
not stand up for its beliefs is an editorial eunuch."
A Member of the E.W. Scripps
(Abridged from Katharyn Duff's
April 19, 1981 "The Story of a Prairie Newspaper" You
can buy this book online from credit card-secured site shopARN.com.)
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