Introduction to Nebraska News Media
Nebraska is a triply landlocked state in the Great Plains and the Midwestern United States. With a population of 1,934,409, Nebraska is the 37th most populous state in the country and is a significant market for about 175 newspapers & news websites.
Though Nebraska as a state was established only in 1867, the history of press & media dates back to the formation of the territory of Nebraska in 1854 by the Kansas–Nebraska Act. It is interesting to note that the early newspapers did play a crucial role in Nebraska’s statehood.
The First Press in Nebraska
William Phelps established the first press in present-day Nebraska on December 23, 1847. He was a representative of ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ from the Mormon community of Winter Quarters.
William Phelps brought the press from Philadelphia and he is widely accepted to be the first publisher in Nebraska. The first material to be printed from his press was a pamphlet announcing the commencement of press & printing activities in Nebraska.
The Early Newspapers in Nebraska
The first newspaper to be published in Nebraska was a handwritten weekly military journal. It was published by a garrison stationed at Fort Atkinson. There isn’t much information available on the weekly or its whereabouts except for a piece of news on the December 10, 1822 edition of the Missouri Intelligencer.
Historians claim that the paper was short-lived, which explains why no copies of the newspaper are known to exist today.
A. Nebraska Palladium (1854-1855): The First Printed Newspaper in Nebraska
Nebraska Palladium published by Thomas Morton is credited as the first printed newspaper in Nebraska. The paper was established in 1854 and it first entered circulation the same year on July 15th.
Though the paper was serving the Nebraska territory, its early editions were published at St. Mary, Iowa. It was in November 1854, Thomas Morton began printing the newspaper from Bellevue, Nebraska.
Like most early newspapers, Nebraska Palladium had to suspend its operations in 1855 due to a revenue deficit.
B. Omaha Arrow (1854-1854)
Omaha Arrow was a weekly newspaper in Nebraska that was founded in 1854. The newspaper was published from the press of Council Bluffs Bugle in Iowa. The first edition of the paper hit the newsstands the same year on July 28th, thirteen days after Nebraska Palladium published its first edition.
Omaha Arrow rarely reported any news or updates; instead, it was focussed on promoting the Nebraska territory. Due to revenue deficit, the paper ceased its operations in December 1854.
C. Nebraska News: The Oldest Newspaper in Circulation in Nebraska
Like the Nebraska Palladium and Omaha Arrow, Nebraska News was a weekly newspaper in Nebraska that was published from Sidney, Iowa.
The paper was first launched in 1854 and was acquired by Thomas Morton. Following the acquisition, Thomas Morton brought the press to Nebraska and began its operation.As of 2020, Nebraska News is the oldest newspaper still being published in Nebraska.
It is essential to note the role played by the newspapers in Nebraska on the development of the state. As of 2020, there are about 150 newspapers and news websites in Nebraska. This article will look at some of the top newspapers & news websites in Nebraska and discuss some interesting information about them.
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Omaha World-Herald is a daily newspaper in Nebraska owned by Lee Enterprises. The paper was first launched in 1885, and today it is circulated throughout eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.
History of Omaha World-Herald
Gilbert M. Hitchcock, an American congressman and senator from Nebraska, founded the paper in 1885. It was first launched as an evening newspaper named Omaha Evening World. The paper quickly gained popularity, and its circulation increased.
In 1889, Omaha Evening World purchased the Omaha Herald newspaper and merged the two to form the Omaha Evening World.
Over the years, the paper has undergone a series of mergers and acquisitions until Lee enterprises bought the newspaper in 2020.
What do they publish?
The printed edition of the newspaper covers all facets of news and information from Nebraska & the US. They also cover important world news in the printed edition.
Apart from the printed edition, Omaha Evening World also hosts an online news portal. The website is regularly updated with headlines & breaking news from the Midlands Region of Nebraska, weather updates, crime reports, classifieds, obituaries, and more. There are dedicated sections on the website for each of these categories of news.
Omaha Evening World also publishes an e-edition that can be accessed from the website. Access to the e-edition is restricted to paid subscribers.
Bellevue Leader is a weekly local newspaper in Nebraska covering Bellevue. The paper was first launched in 1973 and had since been catering to its readers’ local news & updates.
Apart from the weekly printed edition, Bellevue also hosts an online news portal. There are dedicated sections on the website for the latest news, headlines, updates, letter to the editor, and more. Every content on the website, including the paper’s e-edition, is available to the users for free.
The paper also has an active presence on social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. Readers can choose to follow them on social media for prompt updates.
Lincoln Journal Star
Lincoln Journal Star is a prominent daily newspaper in Nebraska, serving the capital city of Lincoln. The paper primarily covers news and updates from Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.
History of Lincoln Journal Star
Lincoln Journal Star was formed in 1995 by the merger of two erstwhile newspapers Lincoln Star and Lincoln Journal. However, Lincoln Journal Star is a relatively new newspaper; the papers merged to form it are not.
The Lincoln Journal was first launched in 1867 by Charles Henry Gere. Over the years, Lincoln Journal underwent a series of mergers, acquisitions, and name changes before becoming The Lincoln Journal.
What do they publish?
The newspaper’s printed edition covers all facets of news and information from Southeast Nebraska, important national and international news, sports news, and more.
Apart from the printed edition, Lincoln Journal Star also hosts an online news portal. The website is regularly updated with headlines, breaking news, weather updates, crime reports, classifieds, obituaries, and more from Nebraska’s Southeast regions. There are dedicated sections on the website for each of these categories of news.
Lincoln Journal Star also publishes an e-edition that can be accessed from the website. Access to the e-edition is restricted to paid subscribers.
WOWT 6 News
WOWT 6 News is an NBC affiliated TV station in Nebraska owned by Gray Televisions. The channel first went on-air on August 29, 1949. It was the 1st TV station in Nebraska, and it quickly gained popularity.
The channel currently airs 35 hours of locally produced newscasts each week. Apart from this, the channel also hosts an online news portal that can be accessed for free. There are dedicated sections on the website for news, live stream, local news, weather updates, sports news, and more.
WOWT 6 News also has an active presence on social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Readers can choose to follow these pages for prompt updates.
Sioux City Journal
Sioux City Journal is a daily newspaper in Nebraska owned by Lee Enterprises. The newspaper was founded in 1864, and as of 2020, it covers news & information from north-western Iowa and portions of Nebraska and South Dakota.
Apart from the daily printed edition, Sioux City Journal also hosts an online news portal and an e-edition. While most contents on the website are available for free, access to e-edition is restricted to paid subscribers.
News Channel Nebraska
News Channel Nebraska is an independent network of radio and television stations in Nebraska and Sioux City. The channel was founded in 2015, and it is focused on covering news and updates from rural Nebraska and coverage of the two major cities, Lincoln and Omaha.
The Daily Nebraskan
The Daily Nebraskan is a daily newspaper run by the students of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The paper was first launched in 1871 as a monthly newspaper and, over the years, went on to become a weekly and daily newspaper.
As of 2020, the paper is circulated every school day during the fall and spring semesters. Apart from covering the news and updates from the campus, the paper and its online edition also report from Lincoln and Omaha’s cities.
Fremont Tribune is a daily newspaper in Nebraska, owned by Lee Enterprises. The paper was first launched in 1868 as a weekly newspaper by J.N. Hayes. Over the years, the paper has undergone a series of mergers and acquisitions until Lee Enterprises bought the paper in 2009.
The paper and its online website are primarily focused on reporting news & updates from Fremont in Nebraska. Fremont Tribune also publishes an e-edition that can be accessed by paid subscribers from their official website.
Kearney Hub is a daily newspaper in Nebraska covering news and updates from Nebraska’s south-central region surrounding Kearney City, Buffalo County, and the Kearney Micropolitan Statistical Area. The newspaper was founded in 1888 by Mentor A. Brown and R.H. Eaton and is currently owned by Lee Enterprises.
Apart from the daily printed edition, Kearney Hub also hosts an online news website. There are dedicated sections on the website for news, obituaries, opinion, sports, entertainment, and more. While most contents on the website are available for free, access to e-edition is restricted to paid subscribers.
Scottsbluff Star-Herald is a daily newspaper in Nebraska, catering to the readers in the city of Scottsbluff and surrounding areas. The paper was first launched in 1912 by the merger of two erstwhile newspapers, the Herald and Star.
Scottsbluff Star-Herald also publishes an e-edition of the paper that can be accessed by paid subscribers.
Columbus Telegram is a daily newspaper in Nebraska owned by Lee Enterprises. The paper primarily covers news and updates from Columbus, Schuyler, Duncan, Platte Centre, Humphrey, Lindsay, Polk, Shelby, David City, and Bellwood.
Apart from the daily printed edition, Columbus Telegram also publishes an e-edition. Access to e-edition is restricted to paid subscribers.
Grand Island Independent
Grand Island Independent is a daily newspaper published in Grand Island, Nebraska. The newspaper was founded in 1869 as the Platte Valley Independent by Maggie Eberhart and Seth Mobley.
As of 2020, the paper is owned by Omaha World-Herald Co. and covers news and updates from Grand Island.
Midwest Messenger is an online publication based out of Tekamah in Nebraska. The publication is owned by Lee Enterprises and is primarily focused on covering news & updates related to Tekamah’s agriculture industry.
There are dedicated sections on the website for news & updates on crops, dairy, livestock, technology, markets, business, opinion, classifieds, weather updates, and more.
Norfolk Daily News
As the name suggests, Norfolk Daily News is a daily newspaper in Nebraska located in downtown Norfolk. The newspaper was first launched in 1871 at Ponca by William Huse. As of 2020, the paper is still owned by the Huse family and is estimated to have a circulation of 15,500 copies.
Lexington Clipper-Herald is a daily newspaper in Nebraska, serving the Dawson and Gosper Counties. Both the print and online edition of the paper covers all facets of news and updates from Dawson and Gosper Counties.
Other than these, the paper also publishes an e-edition that can only be accessed by paid subscribers from their website.
West Point News
West Point News is a weekly newspaper in Cuming County, Nebraska. The paper was first launched in 1976 and has over the years grown to become a popular newspaper in Cuming county. Apart from the weekly printed edition, they also host an online news portal & publish an e-edition.
Beatrice Daily Sun
Beatrice Daily Sun is a newspaper in Nebraska serving its southeast regions. Both the paper and its online website covers local news, updates, sports news, and more.
The paper also publishes an e-edition that can be accessed by paid subscribers from the paper’s official website.
North Platte Telegraph
North Platte Telegraph is the official newspaper of Lincoln County in Nebraska. The paper was established in 1881 and has since been covering news and Information from North Platte and West Central Nebraska.
Apart from the printed edition, North Platte Telegraph also publishes an e-edition that paid subscribers can access from the official website.
Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise
Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise is a local weekly newspaper in Blair, Nebraska. The paper was found in 1929 by the merger of local papers, the Blair Pilot, and the Tribune.
Apart from the printed edition, Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise also publishes an e-edition that can be accessed from the official website by paid subscribers.
Omaha Reader is a nationally-recognized alternative news monthly owned by the Pioneer Publishing Group. The paper was first launched in 1994 and has since provided Omaha with cutting edge news and sharp cultural coverage.
Apart from the monthly printed edition, Omaha Reader also hosts an online website. Readers can access the e-edition from the paper’s official website.
Hastings Tribune is a daily newspaper in Nebraska published six days a week. The paper was first launched by the merger of the weekly newspapers Independent & Tribune. As of 2020, the paper is owned by Seaton Publishing Company, Inc., and it serves ten counties in south-central Nebraska and north-central Kansas.
McCook Gazette is a daily newspaper published in the city of McCook, Nebraska. The paper was first launched in 1911 by Harry D. Strunk and Burris H. Stewart as the Red Willow Gazette, which was a weekly newspaper.
Apart from the printed edition, McCook Gazette also publishes an e-edition that can be accessed from the official website by paid subscribers.
York News Times
York News Times is a daily newspaper published in York, Nebraska serving York County and surrounding counties in the Rainwater Basin region.
Apart from the printed edition, McCook Gazette also publishes an e-edition that can be accessed from the official website by paid subscribers.
Alliance Times-Herald is a local daily newspaper in Alliance, Nebraska, owned by Alliance Publishing Company, Inc. The paper was first launched in 1923 as a semi-weekly and had since been covering news and updates from the city of Alliance in Box Butte.
Apart from the printed edition, Alliance Times-Herald also publishes an e-edition that paid subscribers can access from the official website.
With the advent of digital mediums and better internet penetration there has been a major decline in the circulation of newspapers in the US. Newsrooms around the country are shrinking, and the situation of Nebraska is no different.
As per the data published by the Newspaper Association of America, there has been an 8% decline in daily circulation of newspapers from 2017 to 2018 and 12% from 2018 to 2019. This decline in circulation has directly impacted newspapers’ circulation revenue and indirectly impacted their revenue from advertisements.
Stanton Register was one such newspaper in Nebraska that had been covering news and updates from northeast Nebraska since 1903. This weekly newspaper was forced to cease its printed edition due to the economic crisis which was aggravated by the global pandemic.
In Nebraska, most newspapers have reduced their print days, switched to digital publishing, and merged with others in an effort to keep their business afloat. The local newspapers in Nebraska US have begun a campaign demanding more financial assistance to keep their businesses afloat.
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