Journalism in Cleveland

  • Cleveland Press news carrier receives supply of papers, 1946
  • Upper half of front page of a 1956 Cleveland newspaper showing three mastheads
  •  Cleveland Press Editor Louis B. Seltzer in front of Press building, 1960

On July 31, 1818, the Cleveland Gazette and Commercial Register was founded, marking the beginning of Cleveland's rich tradition of news reporting. After several decades of small, partisan papers, the Plain Dealer and Cleveland Press emerged twin victors, continuing to battle one another for Cleveland's readers for more than 100 years.

This pathfinder pulls together web resources from the Cleveland Memory Project and elsewhere - with particular emphasis on the 20th century - in celebration of the journalists, columnists, photojournalists, editorial cartoonists and independent voices who have informed, reflected, challenged, and entertained our city.

Image Collections, Streaming Audio & Video and Research Tips from Cleveland Memory

THE CLEVELAND PRESS COLLECTION. Comprised of hundreds of thousands of clippings and photographs, The Cleveland Press Collection is the former editorial library, or "morgue," of The Cleveland Press and is now part of Cleveland State University Library's Special Collections. The last of Cleveland's daily afternoon newspapers, The Cleveland Press was published from 1878 until 1982.

The City Club Forums Collection The City Club of Cleveland is the oldest continuous independent free speech forum in the United States. Distinguished speakers over the years include not only journalists, but politicians, labor and business leaders, scientists, educators, clergy and entertainers. A section of streaming audio & video of City Club forums addressing journalism

The Betty Klaric Collection Betty Klaric was a pioneering environmental reporter for the Cleveland Press. She began her career in 1955 as a "copy boy" at the paper, rising to reporter, assistant city editor, and first woman president of the Cleveland Newspaper Guild. Klaric's persistent and unflinching coverage of pollution in Cleveland's air, water, and soil inspired environmental legislation and community involvement, and won her national acclaim.

The Roldo Bartimole Collection Roldo Bartimole worked for the Plain Dealer and the Cleveland bureau of the Wall Street Journal before leaving conventional journalism at the age of 35 to found the publication of Point of View, a biweekly newsletter which was published from 1968-2000, exposing not only the city's ruling elite but also all the individuals and institutions in positions of power. In 2003 Roldo Bartimole was inducted into the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame by the Press Club of Cleveland.
Read 32 years of Point of View on Cleveland Memory.

Tips for Using Newspapers. There is no single index to all of the newspapers of Cleveland, historically, so a variety of sources must be used to locate information of interest. This research guide, provided by Cleveland State University's Michael Schwartz Library, offers helpful tips and links.

Essential Reading: E-Books From Cleveland Memory

Cleveland: Confused City on a Seesaw by Philip, W. Porter, 1976
No detached, scholarly, objective examination of the past, this is an eyewitness account of Cleveland during Phil Porter's fifty-year career as a working newspaperman in the city, told in his own blunt, subjective, often controversial style.

Five Decades at The Press by Ray De Crane, 1998
Memories of a 44 year veteran of The Press, written specifically for Cleveland Memory and the Cleveland Press Collection.

From Across the Pond: A Love Letter to Cleveland: The Memoirs of a Brit Journalist with the Cleveland Press 1970-82, by Peter Almond, 2022
The first-hand story of Peter Almond, a young British journalist who immigrated to Cleveland in 1970, and worked at The Cleveland Press until its demise in 1982. His story uniquely details the history, personalities, politics, issues and passions of northeast – from the serious, to the lighthearted, to the tragic - through the eyes of an outside observer.

“The News is Everyone’s”: Fourteen Days at the Cleveland Press May 9 - June 3, 1977, by Edward Wolf, 2021 (written 1977)
A unique first-person account of news gathering, editorial, and community service activities at The Cleveland Press in Spring 1977, five years before the newspaper ceased publication. Writer Edward Wolf, an intern at the newspaper at the time, offers a lively account of shoe-leather reporting, earnest community outreach, and editorial conferences in the newsroom led by editor-in-chief Tom Boardman.

Plain Dealing: Cleveland Journalists Tell Their Stories, by Dave Davis and Joan Mazzolini, 2018
A fascinating book of essays by 25 accomplished Cleveland-area journalists, this is a book of stories, many never told before. It's a first-person account of journalism in Cleveland, life in the newsroom, the issues and events these journalists covered, and the characters they Met and worked with.

The Way We Are: 100 Plain Dealer Op-Eds, 2022 by Thomas E. Bier, 2022
100 op-ed articles submitted by Thomas Bier to the Plain Dealer and published between 1977 and 2022. Most of the articles concern a current event or issue in the city of Cleveland and/or communities in Northeast Ohio. 100 articles involve 100 topics, varying from local history, to the effect of public policy on communities, to where to locate a new baseball stadium.

The Years Were Good by Louis B. Seltzer, 1956
Editor-in-chief of the Cleveland Press for nearly four decades, Seltzer freflected on his role in the newspaper business: "The Press strives to be with the people, always at their side, always beating with their hearts, always fighting for what is good and against what is bad. The Press' address is, has been, and always will be—Greater Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A." "This life and those years are shared with you in the pages of this book by a man who would be remarkable at any time in history and is doubly remarkable in today' Reading what he has to say of himself, of his career, of his work, of his philosophy, is to find yourself thinking of the quiet sages of another era." - from the book's introduction. Seltzer was editor of The Cleveland Press from 1928-1966.

Off-Site Resources on Cleveland Journalism

Encyclopedia of Cleveland History This entry on "Print Journalism" provides a brief survey of print journalism in Cleveland beginning with the founding of its first newspaper, Cleveland Gazette and Commercial Register, in 1818. The online edition provides helpful links to other entries in the encyclopedia such as Edward Wyllis Scripps, Cleveland Press, Plain Dealer, Louis B. Seltzer, etc.

The Press Club of Cleveland was founded in 1887 to bring together members of the local press and promote fellowship within the profession of journalism. Open to anyone with a vested interest in the media, it has grown into an organization some 200-strong whose membership includes journalists in all media throughout Greater Cleveland as well as associates and affiliates in related fields, retirees, educators and students. The club sponsors the annual Northeastern Ohio "Excellence in Journalism" awards for outstanding work in newspaper, magazine, radio, and television journalism.

Stories from Cleveland Historical

  • The Cleveland Circulation War: When Competition between The Plain Dealer and The Leader Turned Deadly, by Jim Dubelko for Cleveland Historical
    An account of the longstanding, often-violent competition between two of Cleveland's six daily newspapers which lasted for 50 years and ended tragically in the early years of the 20th century.

  • Cleveland State Hospital Exposed, by Jessica Carmosino for Cleveland Historical
    A story about two courageous investigative journalists for the Cleveland Press: Al Ostrow and Bud Bergen, whose exposés of horrific conditions in state mental hospitals in the mid-50' raised awareness and furthered the efforts of those in the Cleveland community who wished to reform these institutions.

  • William O. Walker Race Over Politics, by Joseph Skonce for Cleveland Historical
    A profile of the legendary Civil Rights leader and editor of Cleveland's Call & Post, one of the nation’s most prominent African American newspapers.


This website began as the practicum project of Kent State University MLIS student, Michael Skor. He would especially like to thank Bill Barrow and Marsha Miles for their guidance and assistance and Lauren Felder for the design of this web exhibit.