Introduction to Washington, D.C News Media
Washington, D.C., also known as D.C. or Washington is the capital city of the United States of America. Established after the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, the capital district is named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father.
With a population of 705,749 as of July 2019 & being a city visited by more than 20 million people annually, Washington, D.C. is a significant market to newspapers, and a prominent centre for national and international media.
Let us have a quick look into the history of press & newspapers in Washington, D.C.
History of Press in Washington, D.C.
The history of the press in Washington DC can be traced back to 1789 when Charles Fierer & Christian Kramer opened the first press in George Town. Not much is known about the press or its publications other than newspaper The Times and The Potowmack Packet.
First Newspaper in Washington, D.C.- The Times and The Potowmack Packet
The first newspaper to be published within the present boundaries of Washington, D.C. was The Times and The Potowmack Packet. The paper was published by Charles Fierer & Christian Kramer, and it first hit the newsstands in February 1789. It remained in circulation until 1791.
It is interesting to note that there had been a number of newspapers published in the District of Columbia before it was officially made the seat of government in 1790. Other prominent newspapers in Washington, D.C. were
- The Weekly Ledger, started by Alexander Doyle in March 1790
- The Columbian Chronicle, by Samuel Hanson in December 1793
- The Centinel of Liberty, by Green, English & Company in May 1796
After being declared the capital city in 1790, a lot of new newspapers entered circulation in Washington, D.C. It wasn’t until 1795, the first paper to be printed in Washington City entered circulation.
It was The Impartial Observer and Washington Advertiser, founded by Thomas Wilson in 1795. The paper remained in circulation until Thomas Wilson’s demise in 1796.
It is estimated that around 700 newspapers had been published in Washington, D.C. since 1790. While most of them were short-lived, others could stand the test of time and remain in circulation. Washington Post is one such newspaper that was established in 1877, and as of 2020, it is the oldest newspaper in Washington, D.C.
Today there are about 100 newspapers & news websites catering to the readers in Washington, D.C. This article will look at some of the top Washington, D.C. newspapers & news websites.
If you are looking for complete information on U.S. newspapers & news websites, you can read the article written by our U.S. media expert.
Washington Post is a daily newspaper owned by Nash Holdings and published in Washington, D.C. Established in the year 1877, it is the oldest newspaper to be in continuous publication in Washington, D.C. Apart from being the oldest, it is also the largest newspaper in terms of circulation within the Washington metropolitan area.
History of Washington Post
As said earlier, the paper was established in 1877 by Stilson Hutchins as a daily newspaper. The paper was quick to gain popularity, and it was the city’s first newspaper to be published seven days a week.
Over the years the paper has undergone a series of ownership changes & mergers until Jeff Bezos purchased the paper for US$250 million in 2013.
What do they publish?
- A daily broadsheet edition serving the residents of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. As of 2015, the paper had an estimated daily circulation of 356,768 copies.
- An online news website with dedicated sections for politics, opinion, investigation, tech, international news, sports, top stories, and more.
- An e-edition of the paper that can only be accessed by paid subscribers from the paper’s official website. As of 2018, the digital edition of the newspaper had a circulation of 1,000,000 copies.
Washington Post also has an active presence on Facebook & Twitter with their social media handles regularly updated with latest news & updates. Readers can choose to follow these pages for prompt updates.
The Express was a free daily commuter paper published by The Washington Post on Mondays. The paper was established in 2003, and within a few years, it gained popularity. By 2017, The Express had an estimated circulation of 239,500 copies and had the second-highest circulation in the District of Columbia after The Washington Post.
With the growth of WiFi in D.C.’s Metro, more people began consuming news digitally, which led to the paper losing both readership and advertising revenue. Owing to which the printed edition of the paper was shut down on September 12, 2019.
Today the paper caters to its readers with digital products, including its mobile site, apps, newsletters, and podcasts.
The Hill is a nonpartisan newspaper & and news website focussed on covering news and updates on politics, policy, business and international relations. The paper was first established in 1993 as a weekly newspaper by New York businessman Jerry Finkelstein and Martin Tolchin, a former correspondent for The New York Times established the paper in 1993
and it later went on to be published daily during the congressional workweek since 2003.
What does the paper cover?
Since its inception, The Hill has been analyzing and commenting on the work of the congress and closely monitoring the impacts of the various congressional decisions on business and American society. Apart from these, the paper also covers local topics such as employment, security, social life, shopping, dining, and recreation.
What do they publish?
1. A printed edition of the newspaper which is circulated for free days during the congressional workweek since 2003.
2. An online news portal with dedicated sections for news, policy, defence, engineering & technology, finance, healthcare, transportation, cybersecurity, national security, regulation, and opinion.
3. An e-edition of the newspaper, which the readers can access for free from the website.
The Hill also has an active presence on facebook & Twitter. The social media handles of the newspaper are regularly updated with the latest news & updates.
Washington Examiner is a conservative weekly news magazine in Washington, D.C. owned by the Clarity Media Group. It was first established as a daily newspaper focused on covering local news and political commentary in 2005. The paper remained in circulation until its operations were stopped in 2013.
History of Washington Examiner
Though Washington Examiner, as we see today was established in 2005, its history can be traced back to the three suburban news outlets Prince George’s Journal, Montgomery Journal, and Northern Virginia Journal, owned by Journal Newspapers.
In 2004, Philip Anschutz (an American businessman) bought Journal Newspapers and merged the three newspapers to form the Washington Examiner. Washington Examiner was quick to gain popularity & readership, and it remained in circulation until 2013.
In 2013, the company decided to cease the printed edition of the newspaper, and it was converted into a weekly news magazine focused on National politics.
What do they publish?
- A weekly conservative news magazine covering news and analysis on politics, investigative reporting, and more.
- An online news portal with dedicated sections for politics, policy, news, opinion, business, image & video gallery, blogs, and more.
- An e-edition of the magazine that can only be accessed by paid subscribers from the website.
Other than these, Washington Examiner also has an active presence on Facebook & Twitter.
Washington Times is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C. and owned by Washington Times LLC. Established in 1982, the paper is currently circulated throughout the District of Columbia and in parts of Maryland and Virginia.
History of Washington Times
Washington Times was established in 1982 by the international media conglomerate, News World Communications. The paper hit the newsstands as a competitor to The Washington Post and a successor to the erstwhile newspaper Washington Star.
Since its inception, the paper has been known for their strong conservative political stance.
What do they publish?
- A printed daily edition of the newspaper covering all facets of national news with an emphasis on national politics.
- An online news website with dedicated sections for news, policy, sports, special reports, podcasts, popular news, media spotlight, and more.
- An e-edition of the paper that can only be accessed by paid subscribers.
Other than these, the Washington Times also has an active social media presence. The Facebook & Twitter handle of the paper is frequently updated with the latest news & updates.
Washington’s Top News
Washington’s Top News is a commercial all-news radio station F.M. owned by Hubbard Broadcasting in Washington DC. Established in the year 1948, the F.M. station delivers the latest local news, traffic and weather information to the Washington, D.C., region.
The radio station was quick to gain popularity, and in 1998 they launched their online news portal. Today, the online portal covers all facets of local news & updates from Washington DC. It has dedicated sections for headlines, local news, national news, business & finance, government, lifestyle, and more.
Readers can also listen to live F.M. from the website.
Stars and Stripes
Stars and Stripes is a daily newspaper in America published by the Defense Media Activity, under the Department of Defense. The paper was established in 1861, and it mainly focuses on covering news & updates on the U.S. army deployed within & outside the country.
History of Stars & Stripes
Stars and Stripes were established in 1861 by the soldiers of the Illinois Regiment who were deployed in Bloomfield, Missouri during the American civil war. The soldiers who understood the absence of a local newspaper in Bloomfield decided to print a newspaper about their activities and named it Stars and Stripes.
The paper began publishing news about the American civil war and over the years the paper-covered news & updates on the first & second world war, the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, Kuwait & Afghan wars.
Like all modern-day newspapers, the circulation of Stars and Stripes is on the decline. Owing to which it was decided by the Department of Defense to cease the publication of the paper by September 2020. The decision to cease its publication faced stiff opposition, and the plan was dropped.
What do they publish?
- Four printed editions catering to the members serving in Japan, the Middle East, Europe, & South Korea.
- An online edition of the newspaper covering news & updates.
- An e-edition of the newspaper that can be accessed for free from the website.
Roll Call is a periodical newspaper published in Washington, D.C. owned by the media company FiscalNote. Established in 1955, the paper primarily focuses on reporting news & updates concerning legislative and political maneuverings on Capitol Hill.
The paper was established in 1955 by Sid Yudain, a press secretary to Congressman Al Morano. Over the years the paper gained popularity, and it had a circulation of 30,786 copies as of 2017. Apart from the printed edition of the paper, they also host an online new website. There are dedicated sections on the website for news & updates on politics, policies, congress, and more.
Metro Weekly is a free weekly magazine in Washington, D.C. catering to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender (LGBT) community. The magazine first entered the market on May 5, 1994, and it is currently the largest LGBTQ publication in Washington, D.C.
The magazine is known among its readers for the feature stories, unique interviews, and coverage of current interests. Apart from the printed edition of the magazine, Metro Weekly also hosts a website. The website has dedicated sections for arts, lifestyle, shopping, community, nightlife, and more.
Washington City Paper
Washington City Paper is an alternative weekly newspaper serving Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The paper was established in 1981 by Russ Smith and Alan Hirsch under the title 1981. It was later renamed to Washington City Paper in 1982 when Chicago Reader, Inc acquired 80% stakes in the newspaper.
Apart from the printed edition, the paper also hosts an online news website with dedicated sections for news, food, arts, sports, events calendar, and more. Washington City Paper also has an active presence on Facebook & Twitter.
District Chronicles is an online news portal serving communities in Washington, DC, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County and Northern Virginia. The website was founded with a focus on providing its readers news & updates on entertainment, technology, education and business.
There are dedicated sections on the website for each of these categories of news & readers can access them for free. District Chronicles also has an active presence on Facebook & Twitter.
El Tiempo Latino
El Tempo Latino is a weekly newspaper in the Spanish language published & circulated in Washington, D.C. Established in 1991, El Tempo Latino has grown to become a leading Spanish newspaper in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Apart from the printed edition of the newspaper circulated on Fridays, the paper also hosts an online news website. There are dedicated sections on the website for National news, sports, international news, local news, business, entertainment, and more.
Washington Blade is a newspaper in Washington, D.C. catering to the LGBTQ community. Established in 1969, Washington Blade is the oldest LGBTQ newspaper in the Washington metro area. The paper was established with a focus on bringing the LGBTQ community together, and it was the first of its kind in the District of Columbia.
Over the years, the paper has undergone a series of mergers and acquisitions. As of 2020, the paper is owned by the D.C. Agenda. Apart from the printed edition, the paper hosts an online news website with dedicated sections for politics, local, national, and international news, opinion, art & entertainment, and more.
The Hoya is a student newspaper published by the students of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The paper was established in 1920, and it first hit the newsstands on January 14. Apart from the weekly printed edition, the paper also hosts an online news website with sections for news, opinion, guide, sports, features, and more.
National Law Journal
The National Law Journal is a monthly periodical covering legal matters of national importance such as federal circuit court decisions, verdicts, legislative issues and legal news for the business and private sectors. Apart from the printed edition, the paper also publishes an online news website.
The G.W. Hatchet
The G.W. Hatchet is a student newspaper published by the students of the George Washington University in Washington D.C. Established in the year 1904, G.W. Hatchet is the second oldest newspaper in Washington D.C.
Since its inception, the paper has been catering to the residents of the George Washington community & the university campus.
The Washington Afro American
The Washington Afro American is the Washington D.C. edition of The Afro-American Newspaper in Maryland. The paper was established in the year 1892 by the merger of three erstwhile newspapers The Sunday School Helper, The Ledger and The Afro-American.
Apart from the printed edition of the paper, they also host an online news website.
Catholic Standard is the official newspaper for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington that is published on Thursdays. Established in the year 1951, the paper caters to the Catholics living in the nation’s capital and the five surrounding counties of Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s.
As of 2020, the paper is estimated to have a weekly circulation of 51,000 copies.
The Eagle is a student-run newspaper published by the students of the American University in Washington D.C. Established in the year 1925, the paper has since been covering news & updates from the university. Apart from the printed edition of the paper, they also host an online news website.
The Washington Informer
Washington Informer is a weekly newspaper in Washington, D.C. serving the African-American population of the D.C. metropolitan area. The paper was established in 1964 by Calvin W. Rolark, and is currently published by Denise Rolark Barnes.
Apart from the printed edition of the paper, they also host an online news website.
The Georgetowner is a bi-weekly newspaper published in Washington, D.C. serving the residents of Georgetown and surrounding areas of metropolitan D.C. Both the paper and its printed edition covers news & updates from Georgetown and its surrounding areas.
Washington Jewish Week
Washington Jewish Week is a weekly newspaper in Washington, D.C. serving the Jewish Communities since 1930. Since its inception in 1930, the paper has been covering news & updates on issues concerning the Jewish community in the Washington, D.C. area.
Other than the weekly printed edition of the paper, they also publish an online news website with sections for news, opinion, arts & culture, people, obituaries and more.
The names listed in the article are some of the top newspapers & news websites in Washington D.C. As of 2020, there are about 75 printed newspapers and more than 100 news websites in the District of Columbia. Out of the newspapers, Washington Post is the largest newspaper in terms of circulation, and The Express is the smallest paper.
Newspapers have always been an integral part of the news landscape of Washington D.C. It is estimated that since the first newspaper entered circulation in Washington D.C., there have been around 800 newspapers that were published.
Today, like the other papers in the country, papers in Washington D.C. have been hit hard. With better internet penetration across the country, more & more people are shifting to digital news consumption. This has resulted in a steep decline in the circulation of newspapers which in turn affected their revenue.
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